Former Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari has hailed the quality and potential of Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior.
Vinicius Junior enjoyed a 17-goal, 10-assist league campaign in 2021-22 as he established himself as one of Europe’s premier attacking prospects.
“[His potential] only depends on him,” Solari told Marca. “He transmits great joy. That self-confidence, that desire to win and to go forward are many of the things that Madrid fans are passionate about.
“And he’s also a fighter, he’s not just talent. He has learned from all his coaches, for example in the defensive phase, and it shows. He works very hard, taking the ball and tackling, something that requires great strength, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually.”
On what influence he may have had on the player’s development, Solari added: “If there is a little piece of me in what Vinicius has achieved, in the way he knocks on the door and wins the hearts of the people, it’s wonderful, very nice.”
Vinicius Junior struggled to break into the first team under Solari and Zinedine Zidane until 2020-21, when he made what was then a career-best 22 La Liga starts.
Last year, he started 30 La Liga matches and delivered personal bests in goals and assists.
Vinicius Junior also scored the winner in the Champions League final against Liverpool on May 28.