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‘Vinicius is wonderful & has great potential’ – Real Madrid starlet backed by Butragueno with Hazard out

9:07 PM MYT 09/12/2019
Vinicius Jr, Real Madrid
The Brazilian forward has an opportunity to thrive in the absence of a Belgian team-mate, with his lack of goals not considered to be a problem

Vinicius Junior is “just wonderful”, says Real Madrid legend Emilio Butragueno, with the Brazilian forward considered to boast “great potential”.

The Blancos bought into that when luring the 19-year-old away from Flamengo.

He was initially eased into the fold at the Santiago Bernabeu, but is now closing in on 50 competitive appearances for the Liga giants.

It has been suggested that a loan move elsewhere may aid his development, amid fierce competition for places in the Spanish capital, but he retains the full support of Zinedine Zidane.

Vinicius is also in a position to get more game time at present with Eden Hazard ruled out through injury.

The South American starlet caught the eye during a 2-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday, with Butragueno confident that he can build on that impressive outing.

The former Real forward, who is now a spokesman for the club, told Movistar: “I think he completed a great match.

“I was an attacker myself and I know what I’m talking about.

“For someone to create as many goal scoring chances, he is just wonderful. He dribbles past opponents, he is powerful and he’s quick.

“He’s completed an excellent match.”

While Vinicius’ creative qualities remain without question, he has been struggling for end product this season.

He has just one goal to his name through 12 appearances, with that solitary effort coming in a 2-0 La Liga win over Osasuna in September.

Zidane has been quick to play down any concerns regarding the Brazilian’s scoring record, with Butragueno echoing those sentiments.

He added: “It’s true that most people talk about goals, but he’s still a very, very young player and he creates so many plays, so we understand that he has great potential and we have to take advantage of it.”

Zidane told reporters when quizzed on the same issues after a comfortable win over Espanyol: “The important thing is his work. What he has done he has done well, both in attack and defence.

“He started the game very well. Today he has had to play and he has done quite well, although everyone likes to score.

“The important thing is to score one and then get into some rhythm. These are things that come with confidence.

“I do not ask anyone for goals. That is a consequence of what the team does. Today it was [Raphael] Varane’s turn, for example.”

Real will be back in action on Wednesday when they take in a Champions League trip to Club Brugge.