- Vinicius Jr draws Neymar comparison
- Both samba stars have similar career trajectory
- Xavi wants more protection for young forward
WHAT HAPPENED? Xavi has offered some high praise to rival Vinicius Junior, comparing him to fellow countryman Neymar. The Real Madrid attacker has been causing trouble for La Liga defenders and drawing some very heavy challenges, and the Barcelona coach believes he deserves more protection than he currently receives.
WHAT THEY SAID: "Vinicius, who is very good one on one, causes the opponent to be more aggressive," Xavi said. "That also happened with Neymar. There is a referee and a committee that must do their job."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Vinicius started the season in fine form for Real Madrid netting in five consecutive games, but he has seen his form drop off slightly in recent months. Since the World Cup he has scored just one goal in the league.
IN THREE PHOTOS:GettyGettyGetty
WHAT NEXT FOR VINICIUS AND REAL MADRID? The Spanish champions face Mallorca next, before jetting off to the Club World Cup in Morocco where they are immediately placed in the semi-final. They are yet to discover their opponents.