Real Madrid’s troubled season is in even worse shape with the news that Vinicius Junior’s season may be finished early due to torn ankle ligaments.
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The 18-year-old is one of the lone bright spots of the 2018-19 campaign, which will end with neither a Copa del Rey, UEFA Champions League, nor La Liga crown barring a stunning Barcelona collapse.
Vinicius was in tears leaving the pitch during the first half of Real’s 4-1 loss to Ajax at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, an ankle injury taking him out of the match at 2-0.
With three goals and 12 assists in 28 matches despite his tender age, Vinicius was serving notice that he can be part of the light at the end of this season’s tunnel. He had just earned his first call into Brazil camp.
Real is eight points clear of fifth place Alaves and 11 ahead of Sevilla, so it’s Champions League place is not in question for next season. It’s road into the end of the season is also quite forgiving.
Playing in the biggest game of his life, 18-year-old Real Madrid whiz kid Vinicius Junior subbed off of it in tears.
An early injury was complicated by a long dribble, and the Brazilian left the match in the 34th minute.
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Real trailed Ajax 2-0 in the match and 3-2 on aggregate when Vinicius was unable to continue the second leg.
Vinicius has three goals and 12 assists in 28 matches this season.
He’s contributed to a goal just over every 100 minutes, and was as explosive as anyone not named Lionel Messi in the Copa del Rey.
Lucas Vazquez was also subbed off the pitch for Gareth Bale, but that was not down to injury.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Vinicius Junior has been called up to the Brazilian national team for the first time for friendly matches against Panama and the Czech Republic.
The 18-year-old striker has become a key player for Real Madrid this season.
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Brazil coach Tite also called up midfielder Felipe Anderson and striker Richarlison.
Brazil is preparing to host the Copa America in June.
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)
Ddefenders: Alex Sandro (Juventus), Danilo (Manchester City), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Eder Militao (Porto), Dani Alves (Paris Saint-Germain), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Miranda (Inter Milan)
Midfielders: Allan (Napoli), Arthur (Barcelona), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fabinho (Liverpool), Felipe Anderson (West Ham), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan)
Forwards: Everton (Gremio), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Richarlison (Everton), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
Real Madrid takes an away goals advantage away from its Copa del Rey semifinal first leg at Barcelona following a 1-1 draw in El Clasico.
The match was much closer than Barca’s 5-1 rout in La Liga player earlier this season, and Real led after six minutes through Lucas Vazquez.
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With Lionel Messi on the bench for the first 63 minutes, it was down to Malcom to level the tie with his 57th minute marker (below).
Vinicius Junior was perhaps the Man of the Match, helping to set-up Real’s goal.
The second leg is Feb. 27 at the Bernabeu.
Barca had more of the ball, and both teams attempted 11 shots.
Call it El Clasico practice.
Vinicius Junior had a terrific day in Real Madrid Castilla’s 2-2 draw at Atletico Madrid B on Sunday, but experienced two very different screamers in the match.
The barely 18-year-old scored both of Castilla’s goals, including a wonderful hit, then got tangled up with Tachi. The Atleti captain appears to get toothy with the Brazilian star-in-waiting.
Here’s that outstanding second goal.