Vinicius Junior: Real Madrid Star Opens Up on How Ronaldo Helped Him Overcome ‘Fear’ in Scoring

Vinicius Junior: Real Madrid Star Opens Up on How Ronaldo Helped Him Overcome ‘Fear’ in Scoring

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
May 24, 2024 at 6:35 AM
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  • Vinicius Junior has expressed praise for Ronaldo Nazario
  • He credited R9 for transforming him into a better finisher
  • The Brazilian winger has 30+ goal involvements this term

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Real Madrid stalwart, Vinicius Junior, has revealed how a club legend helped him conquer his fear in one-on-one situations.

The pacy winger has been in phenomenal form since overcoming nagging injuries at the start of the 2023–24 season.

Vinicius Junior, Brazil, Real Madrid, Ronaldo Luis Nazario, R9, goal, one-on-one, 1v1, striker, Ballon d'Or.
Vinicius reacts after scoring against Deportivo Alaves in La Liga on May 14, 2024. Photo by Clive Brunskill.
Source: Getty Images

According to Transfermarkt, Vinicius has scored 23 goals and provided 10 assists in 37 appearances across all competitions as he chases a second Champions League title after already helping Los Blancos secure La Liga.

His performances in high-stakes matches, particularly on European nights, have bolstered his chances of winning the 2024 Ballon d'Or prize.

He is considered one of the frontrunners for the coveted award, alongside teammate Jude Bellingham and soon-to-be Madrid forward, Kylian Mbappe.

How Ronaldo transformed Vinicius

For the third consecutive season, the 23-year-old has achieved double figures in both goals and assists, a feat he attributes to the guidance of iconic Brazilian forward, Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, who also had a glittering career with Real Madrid.

Known as El Fenomeno, Ronaldo is widely regarded as one of, if not the greatest, strikers of all time.

The 2002 World Cup winner was a prolific goal-scorer, netting 298 goals in 454 games, often with effortless one-on-one finishes.

Vinicius, lifting the lid on his potency in such situations, credited R9's advice with helping him overcome his fear in front of goal.

He emphasised that his compatriot's insights have been transformative, boosting his confidence during one-on-one encounters with goalkeepers.

"Ronaldo always calls me and gives me advice. He teaches me many things," he said, as quoted by MadridXtra. "He [R9] told me he loves 1v1 situations. Since then, I started working on it really hard. Ever since that conversation with R9, I stopped being afraid of missing a 1v1."

Barcelona hero backs Vinicius for Ballon d'Or

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Barcelona great Rivaldo has asserted that Vinicius Junior has the potential to surpass Kylian Mbappe in the competition for the Golden Ball.

In an interview with Betfair, Rivaldo praised his compatriot and ranked him among the top three players in the world, suggesting that Vinicius could realistically win the Ballon d'Or.

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Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.