Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari has hailed the performances off youngster Vinicius Jr, claiming that he wasn’t surprised by his consistent displays this season, but admitted that, “it does not happen often”, that a teenager plays so well.
The Brazilian was a constant menace to Barcelona on the left flank during their 1-1 draw with the Catalan giants in the first leg of the semifinal of the Copa del Rey, and it was his perfectly weighted cross to Karim Benzema that led to Lucas Vazquez scoring their only goal of the game in the sixth minute.
The former Flamengo man who is the leading the assist charts in the Copa del Rey this season, came in for high praise from Solari.
“I was not surprised as I know him since he arrived. I know how he plays football. But that a kid of 18 years old plays in this way does not often happen. He deserves a lot of praise, as do his teammates who have taken him on board and helped him,” Solari said in the postmatch news conference.
The 18-year-old made his senior debut for Madrid this season and has so far netted four goals in 21 appearances in all competitions and will look to put in a similar shift when the two rivals face-off in the return leg later this month.