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'Bold' Vinicius making 'huge strides' at Madrid, according to Solari

12:58 pm AEDT 10/1/19
Vinicius Junior Real Madrid Copa del Rey 2018
The teenage forward’s ability to develop among some of the top players in the world has his manager impressed

Real Madrid head coach Santiago Solari praised Vinicius Junior, saying the teenage forward was making "huge strides" at the club.

Vinicius, 18, scored his third goal of the season in Madrid's 3-0 win over Leganes in the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie on Wednesday.

The Brazilian joined the European giants in July last year and is slowly settling in, although he has made just one LaLiga start.

Solari is pleased with the way Vinicius is improving at Madrid, who recorded their first win of 2019 by beating Leganes.

"It was a very good performance. Vinicius is making huge strides," he told a news conference.

"He's always had the talent but to develop it at the Bernabeu surrounded by wonderful players speaks volumes about his confidence, rawness and the enjoyment he exudes with the ball at his feet.

"He's 18 years of age and you have to look after yourself in football. It's important for him to keep going.

"We're very happy with his current performance levels, he's keen to take people on. He's bold and that individual ability to beat a man is very important in modern-day football.

"His goal showed wonderful technique, and also how he puts defenders off balance. We hope he continues to grow both from individual and collective points of view."

Madrid, struggling in fifth in La Liga, are next in action with a trip to Real Betis on Sunday as they look to close the gap on league leaders Barcelona, who are 10 points clear of their eternal rivals at the top of the table.  

The comfortable win on Wednesday should take some of the pressure off of Solari ahead of the second leg of their round of 16 clash next Wednesday.  

Vinicius could also be in line for a heavier workload as Madrid are dealing with a rash of injuries to a number of the club’s top players, and Solari has continued to avoid handing starts to Isco.