Marcelo praises ‘spectacular’ Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 24: Vinicius Junior (L) of Real Madrid CF and his teammate Marcelo (R) celebrates his team´s fourth goal during the Copa del Rey Quarter Final match between Real Madrid CF and Girona FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 24, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Marcelo has praised his fellow Brazilian Vinicius Junior for the teenager’s attitude in adapting to life at Real Madrid.

The 18-year-old forward has been nothing short of exceptional in his debut campaign at Real following a €46m transfer from Flamengo last summer.

Despite enduring a challenging start to life at the Spanish capital under former coach Julen Lopetegui, Vinicius was brought into the first-team by Castilla boss Santiago Solari during his four-month spell in charge.

Vinicius has since had a direct hand in 15 goals in his opening 28 appearances for Real and received his first call-up to the Brazilian national team at the end of last month.

But up a calf injury from last week’s Champions League defeat to Ajax has put him at risk of missing the remainder of Real’s campaign as the club look to end what has been a dreadful season on a high upon Zinedine Zidane’s return as manager on Monday.

Nonetheless, Marcelo has been left impressed by Vinicius’ maturity at the Santiago Bernabeu despite his young age.

“Vinicius has played for one year in Brazil at the age of 16, but he’s a bit more mature when he got here than I was,” said Marcelo, according to Marca.

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“I help him whenever I can, he’s a spectacular kid, he listens to everything and wants to learn everything.

“He’s learning Spanish because he wants to be able to communicate well, I like seeing this because if you help a person who doesn’t want to be helped, it’s a waste of time, but he’s different.”

The full-back’s future at Real has been in doubt this season due to a lack of regular opportunities under Solari.

But Marcelo, who joined Los Blancos in 2007 from Fluminense, revealed his pride at being a member of the Spanish giants.

“I’ve been a captain for six years, it’s a source of great pride for me,” he said.

“We have to always carry the name of Real Madrid to the top. I like that pressure a lot.”

Marcelo is expected to be restored to the line-up by Zidane ahead of his second debut as Real manager on Saturday at home to Celta Vigo in La Liga.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) Lucas Vazquez, Marcelo Vieira and Vinicius JR of Real Madrid CF in action during the warm up prior to the Copa del Semi Final first leg match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at Nou Camp on February 06, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)


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