Not so long ago, it seemed as though Vinicius Junior’s future wasn’t as bright as it appeared when he first burst onto the scene at Real Madrid.
However, with a new lease of life in the 2021/22 season, Carlo Ancelotti’s team is becoming centred around the Brazilian international.
With nine goals in 14 games, Vinicius is having his best season yet in the Spanish capital. In fact, 37.5 percent of his goals at the club (24 in total) have come this season, in just 10.6 percent of the total number of games he has played (132).
As he looks to keep improving, we take a look at Vinicius’ three upcoming challenges.
His first hat-trick
He has come close on two occasions recently. One of which came in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk in a 5-0 away victory.
Vinicius scored two goals within five minutes of each other and had another half an hour to find the back of the net for a third time, but instead he had to settle for an assist for Rodrygo Goes to make it 4-0.
A couple of games later saw Real Madrid take on Elche in LaLiga Santander, with Vinicius getting both of his side’s goals in their 2-1 away win.
Of his 24 goals in a Real Madrid shirt Vinicius has scored a brace on three separate occasions, with the third having come against Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season.
One goal away from his best season
Nine goals in at this early stage of the season puts Vinicius on the verge of having his best season at club level yet. Back in 2018, before the Brazilian international made his way to Spain, Vinicius scored 10 goals in the same number of games for Flamengo.
The statistics say that Vinicius is set to produce a projected 20 goals this season, according to his successes already in 2021, a stat which the Spanish side haven’t experienced since Cristiano Ronaldo left.
Real Madrid will enjoy adding another consistent goalscorer to their books, meaning they won’t have to rely so heavily on Karim Benzema.
Convincing Tite ahead of Qatar 2022
With the Brazilian national team searching for their sixth World Cup title at Qatar 2022, it will come as a surprise to many that Vinicius has been snubbed from Brazil’s squad list ahead of games against Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina.
It’s all the more surprising that Brazil boss Tite selected Philippe Coutinho in the squad over Vinicius.
If the Real Madrid forward manages to keep up his consistent results, then there is no doubt that a year will be enough time to convince Tite that he deserves to be in the World Cup squad.
One thing for certain is that his experience with the Selecao has been underwhelming, having made seven appearances and started just one (in which he was later substituted), with zero goals scored.
Vinicius will, however, be hoping that he can continue to build on his Real Madrid form and force his way into the Brazil XI.