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Real Madrid teenager Vinicius Junior was roundly praised for his eye-opening display in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey win over Leganes, with coaches and teammates tipping the former Flamengo star for greatness in the years ahead, reports ESPN.
With Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema all failing to fill the gaping hole left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus, the 18-year-old Brazilian who began the season toiling in Spain’s third division with Madrid’s reserve side has unexpectedly turned into a figure of inspiration at the club.
Real started the year by drawing with Villarreal and losing to Real Sociedad, falling to the unfamiliar position of fifth in La Liga, an embarrassing 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.
But Vinicius gave a sparsely-attended Santiago Bernabeu something to believe in on Wednesday with a stunning performance in the 3-0 win over Leganes, bringing fans to their feet with a spectacular volley which rounded off the scoring.
“Hope is called Vinicius,” raved Spanish newspaper Marca, and the Brazilian was also lauded by his coach and teammates.
“Vinicius transmits joy, he has always had talent but to show it at the Bernabeu speaks volumes of his ability,” said coach Santiago Solari, who has faced fierce criticism for Real’s limp start to 2019. “He is brave, he takes players on and destroys defences in a way that we see less and less these days.”