Neymar moving to Real Madrid would help me adjust – Vinicius Jr.
Real Madrid-bound forward Vinicius Jr. said that he and Rodrygo would benefit from having Neymar, their fellow Brazilian, at the club.
Vinicius Jr. is due to link up with Madrid next month for preseason training, with FIFA rules having mandated that he waits until he turns 18 before finalising a €45 million transfer agreed last summer with Flamengo.
Rodrygo, meanwhile, agreed a €54m move from Santos for next summer, and Madrid president Florentino Perez remains keen on adding Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.
“If [Neymar] can come to Real Madrid, it would be the best to help me and Rodrygo,” Vinicius Jr. told Marca. “In his position, with his experience, he will help us a lot. [But] he has not told me anything about that.”
Vinicius Jr. said Madrid had been following him since he was 12, with Juni Calafat, the club’s then-South American scout and now senior transfer decision-maker, having seen off opposition from other suitors.
“Juni always followed me, and after a while, he managed to bring me to the best team in the world,” Vinicius Jr. said. “PSG and Barcelona, among others, were always in contact with us. In the end, we waited for the right moment and the right club.”
Vinicius Jr. said he was not scared of the expectation placed on him by the €45m fee.
“I never think about money, just playing, enjoying myself and making the team proud,” he said. “I know my potential, how far I can go. I just have to work hard, keep doing what I have been doing at Flamengo.”
“I don’t know if Florentino wants to pay so much money for him, but the best players are at Madrid,” Isco said from Spain’s World Cup camp in Russia. “He is one of the best, so I would welcome him.”
El Pais reported that Neymar has told Nike to freeze a line of sportswear they were preparing to have ready should he move to the Bernabeu this summer.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan