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Vinicius´ ´meteoric´ Real Madrid rise leaves Mauro Silva wanting more from Brazil star

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Sep 2023

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Vinicius Junior has enjoyed a “meteoric” rise at Real Madrid but Mauro Silva believes the Brazil winger could still get better with the world “yet to see the best” from him.

The Los Blancos forward soon became a fan favourite in Madrid after scoring three times in his first five games of the 2020-21 season, following his 2018 transfer from Flamengo as a 16-year-old.

While Vinicius only managed three goals and four assists in his next 44 games for Los Blancos, the 23-year-old helped Madrid to the LaLiga and Champions League double in the 2021-22 term.

Vinicius continued to shine in the Spanish capital last campaign, contributing to 42 goals across all competitions (23G, 19A) – only Mohamed Salah (46), Kylian Mbappe (50) and Erling Haaland (61) managed more in Europe’s top five leagues.

That illustrious list of regular Ballon d’Or contenders – and Europe’s top marksmen – only serves to purvey the quality of Vinicius, whose progression was hailed by Silva.

“What is clear is that the evolution and the progression of Vinicius Junior in recent times has been meteoric,” Silva, a former Brazilian international midfielder, told Stats Perform at the Thinking Football Summit.

“When he arrived at Madrid he was questioned a lot, there were a lot of doubts and he was able to progress, he had a great evolution.

“He is a very young player, with a great future, it is clear. I still think we are yet to see the best of Vinicius Junior.

“He is a player who, at his age, has a lot to progress, to improve on and also perhaps [develop] as a striker, because in recent games he got used to being there but improving at scoring goals is fundamental.”

Silva believes Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has been key to Vinicius’ development.

“You can see the confidence, you can also see Ancelotti’s work when it comes to working on this footballer’s self-esteem and confidence,” the ex-Deportivo player added.

“But what is clear is that he has a great future and it is difficult right now to say how far he can go.

“I hope he can fight with Neymar to be among the great footballers of Brazil.

“In a team like Madrid and with the pressure they have and with the demands they have, that such a young player is capable of doing what Vinicius is doing makes us think that he could go very, very far.”

Ancelotti’s future at Madrid has come under regular speculation, with suggestions the Italian remains a target of the Brazilian national team – a move that Silva would welcome.

“It is clear that Ancelotti is one of the best coaches in the world. And when you are looking at a coach, I honestly don’t think you have to take into account his passport or his nationality,” Silva continued.

“If you think that the game model fits in Brazil, and in this case Ancelotti, the relationship he has with Brazilian soccer players, the ability to adapt that he has shown throughout his career, winning titles in all countries, well, it makes him as one of the best in the world at the moment, along with [Pep] Guardiola, with [Jurgen] Klopp.

“A coach of this level is capable of making a team like the Brazilian one, with the players they have, with the football culture that exists around them.

“Ancelotti [already] has a lot of relationships with Brazilian footballers, [he has had it] throughout his entire career, [all these things] makes us think that he could do a great job with Brazil.”

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