All eyes on Vini­cius as he makes first team de­but

New Straits Times - - Sport -

RIO DE JANEIRO: Vini­cius Ju­nior, the lat­est foot­ball sen­sa­tion from Brazil, joined up with the Fla­mengo first team squad for the first time on Thurs­day ahead of an ex­pected big­money move to Real Madrid.

The 16-year old striker has caught the eye of Euro­pean scouts with his pace, vi­sion and fear­less abil­ity to take on play­ers in the last third of the field.

Me­dia re­ports in Spain and Brazil sug­gest he is close to sign­ing a multi-mil­lion dol­lar deal with the Span­ish giants.

How­ever, the tricky for­ward and long-time Fla­mengo fan has yet to play a first-team match for the Rio club.

He was only pro­moted to the first-team squad af­ter a se­ries of out­stand­ing per­for­mances for Brazil’s Un­der-17 side in the South Amer­i­can cham­pi­onships in Chile in March.

Vini­cius Ju­nior led the Un­der-17s to a 12th South Amer­i­can ti­tle with seven goals in a tal­is­manic role worth as much as the top scorer and player of the tour­na­ment awards he gath­ered.

He is ex­pected to lead Brazil in In­dia in Oc­to­ber where they will seek their fourth Un­der-17 world ti­tle.

Be­fore that, he may get his first-team de­but with Fla­mengo, who kick off their Serie A cam­paign against Atletico Mineiro to­day at the Mara­cana sta­dium.

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