Vinicius Junior described Toni Kroos as a player with quality that “nobody else has” after Real Madrid’s victory over Liverpool in the Champions League.
Vinicius scored twice either side of a Marco Asensio goal as Madrid claimed a 3-1 win against the Reds in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
Kroos’ superb 60-yard ball set up the opener and the Germany midfielder was also instrumental in the second, Asensio finishing past Alisson after Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold tried to head the former’s clipped pass back towards his goalkeeper.
Mohamed Salah got a valuable away goal with Liverpool’s only shot on target in the Spanish capital before Vinicius swept home his second after good work from Luka Modric.
Vinicius was keen to highlight the influence of Kroos after the match, the midfielder having finished with a game-high 68 successful passes and four chances created.
“Toni is incredible, a great player,” Brazilian star Vinicius told Movistar. “He’s a legend of the club and when he plays he has a class that nobody else has. I’m grateful for that pass.”
20y 268d – Vinícius Júnior (20y 268d) is the second youngest scorer for Real Madrid in a UEFA @ChampionsLeague knockout match, after Raúl González (18y 253d) in March 1996 against Juventus. Premature#RealMadridLiverpool pic.twitter.com/lVXuFpFw7q
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 6, 2021
Aged 20 years and 268 days, Vinicius became the second youngest goalscorer for LaLiga holders Madrid in a Champions League knockout match after 18-year-old Raul netted against Juventus in March 1996.
It was arguably Vinicius’ most impressive performance in a Madrid shirt and came after criticism this season of his lack of consistency.
“People outside speak, but I always work, my team-mates give me the strength I need to arrive at important moments and score the goals we need,” he said.
“It’s good to come off like this. I’ve given everything for this shirt that I love so much.
“It was really important to win. It’s the Champions League and 3-1 is a good result.
“We’ve worked a lot this year to get to this moment of the season, the most important, winning every game. And we’re doing that.
“We didn’t let them create anything. They got in once and got a goal.
“We have to continue like this. We train so this doesn’t happen. The coach gives us peace of mind and we’ve done everything [Zinedine] Zidane asked of us very well.”
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