Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr has confirmed he turned down a move to Barcelona in favour of joining Los Blancos.
The Brazilian teenager joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2018 from Flamengo for a fee of £37.8m having initially agreed the deal a year earlier.
Not being rushed into the team, while also dealing with an injury setback last season, Vinicius has played 41 games for Los Blancos so far including 10 during the current campaign.
Could Vinicius have signed for Barcelona? Five things to know…
- Vinicius Jr joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2018 for £37.8m.
- The deal was initially agreed with his former club Flamengo in 2017.
- Vinicius has revealed he was subject to an offer from Barcelona.
- However, he chose Real Madrid following advice from his father.
- Vinicius has played 41 games for Real Madrid so far, scoring four goals.
However, it could have been so different for Vinicius after the teenager revealed he was subject to interest from Real Madrid’s rivals Barcelona, only choosing Los Blancos due to advice from his father.
“I didn’t think that Real Madrid’s interest was true,” he told Real Madrid TV.
“At first I thought it wasn’t true, that it was just a newspaper rumour.
“I had offers from both Real Madrid and Barcelona. My father told me I had to choose with my heart, and I listened to him.
“In Brazil, there’s nothing that’s comparable to Madrid: the city, the Bernabéu, the players.”
The Brazilian went on to hail the impact compatriots Marcelo and Casemiro had in helping him settle at Real Madrid, having gone through similar experiences themselves.
“When I first arrived, it was very difficult because it was a massive change in my life,” he added.
“I thought I wasn’t going to survive because it was so difficult being away from the people I love.
“My family is everything to me and they always do everything possible to make me happy, and if I’m happy then I play better. When my family arrived, everything was better.
“Casemiro and Marcelo also helped me a lot as they had been through the same thing.”
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Vinicius Jr opens up on special bond with Benzema
Although playing for Real Madrid primarily as a winger, Vinicius has made a few appearances in the centre of the attack, providing support or back-up for Karim Benzema.
After Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit last summer, Benzema was once again handed the reins of leading the line for Real Madrid, and Vinicius has praised the Frenchman for his helping hand in adapting to life as a Los Blancos player.
“I feel as if I’ve got a special bond with Karim and I learn things from him,” Vinicius added.
“He talks to me before games and tells me what I have to do for the good of the team.”