Vinicius Junior airs Ronaldo regret at Real Madrid

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The Brazilian youngster had hoped that a move to the Santiago Bernabeu would give him the chance to play alongside the five-time Ballon d'Or winner

Vinicius Junior has aired his regret at having seen Cristiano Ronaldo depart Real Madrid before he got the chance to play alongside him.

The Brazilian youngster became the most expensive teenager in world football when the Blancos struck a €46 million (£41m/$53m) deal with Flamengo in May 2017.

That record was soon broken by Kylian Mbappe’s switch to Paris Saint-Germain, but Vinicius remains one of the most exciting prospects on the planet.

Madrid are hoping to benefit from that obvious potential, but have favoured a cautious approach when it comes to his ongoing development.

They allowed Vinicius to remain in his homeland before moving to Spain over the summer, by which time they had sanctioned the €100m (£88m/$116m) move of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo to Juventus.

“I’d like to have played with Cristiano Ronaldo, but I’m playing with many other world champions, so I don’t have to talk about him anymore,” Vinicius told reporters after figuring for Brazil’s U20 side in a 1-1 draw with Chile.

Ronaldo’s exit may actually have presented an 18-year-old starlet with a better opportunity to make his mark in Madrid, with attacking berths now up for grabs.

He has been restricted to just two La Liga appearances to date, having made his bow against arch rivals Atletico in September, but there are calls for him to be given more opportunities on the back of a four-game goal drought for the Blancos.

Vinicius hopes there will be many more opportunities for him to come this term, with there a desire on his part to prove that he is deserving of a standing within a star-studded squad in the Spanish capital.

He added: “It’s always good to play with the world’s best, and being at Real Madrid is priceless.

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“It was my dream as a child, but right now I’m focused on these games with Brazil. I can talk to Brazilians and share my experiences with them.

“Everything will come in time. I need a calm head and I need to be happy that I’ve already been able to contribute in a couple of games.

“There’s nothing better than debuting at the Bernabeu against Atletico Madrid. I’m very happy with the group because we’re a very good one. I’ll come back better after this international break.”

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