Real Valladolid may make an amazing acquisition while becoming an addition of its own.
From 1980-2004, Valladolid spent just one season in Spain’s second tier. Since then, they’ve spent nine there.
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Sergio Gonzalez started to change things late last season, winning most of his matches following an April appointment as manager and earning promotion to the top flight.
Now the club is back in La Liga, and may have a new majority owner: the original Ronaldo.
The legendary Brazilian striker will reportedly invest $34 million in the club, and become Valladolid’s majority shareholder “within the next 24 hours.”
And his relationship with former club Real Madrid could bear immediate dividends in the form of a loan for Los Blancos superstar-in-waiting Vinicius Junior.
The 18-year-old from Flamengo has impressed many during his short time at the Bernabeu — fellow Brazilian Marcelo called him “the present and future of the team” — but has yet to play for the first team, making a 72-minute debut for Real Madrid Castilla.
Following in the footsteps of Neymar and Kaka, and Ronaldinho and Ronaldo before them, Vinicius Junior has been dubbed the next transcendent Brazilian superstar, and he’s ready to show why after being unveiled by Real Madrid on Friday.
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The 18-year-old from the famed Flamengo youth academy will make his European debut next month when the new La Liga season kicks off, and he has every intention of being part of the first-team squad from the very beginning. While many South American starlets will move to a club the size of Real Madrid and spend a season or two (or more) out on loan as they continue to develop and adjust to life abroad, Vinicius is bullish on his ability to make an immediate impact — quotes from ESPN:
“I am staying at Real Madrid with the first team. I will play some games with Castilla [the youth team] to adapt as quickly as possible.
“I can do everything I did at Flamengo, and do better. I will show I am ready to play and show everything possible as quickly as I can. I know the adaptation will not be easy, but I am ready to do whatever is necessary.
“I am coming from Flamengo, another club with a lot of pressure. The people around me are here to help me with this. I never think of failing, just succeeding, winning as much as possible.”
“Football is a bit different here, but coach Lopetegui is helping me a lot, telling me what I must do, how I can improve. This is the best opportunity a football player can have.
“I will sacrifice a lot to show I deserve this opportunity. But sacrifice is not something new for me. I come from a very simple family, and am very proud of all they did for me and the values they have taught me.”
Vinicius’s $52-million transfer was agreed last summer, but FIFA rules stipulated that the player must be 18 before making the move abroad.
The United States men’s U-23 national team faced a tough task in dealing with Brazil’s U-23 team in Brasilia on Monday night.
And it didn’t go very well right off the bat, as the home squad struck first. Twenty-four-year-old Atletico Mineiro striker Luan netted in the third minute.
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Newly-minted Barcelona back Douglas scored Brazil’s second goal, with 21-year-old Lazio defender Vinicius also tallying for the hosts.
The States started Southampton keeper Cody Cropper between the sticks, and had Colorado pair Shane O’Neill and Dillon Serna in the starting lineup. FC Utrecht mid Rubio Rubin and Stanford sophomore Jordan Morris also started.
US U-23s: Cropper; Sorto, Carter-Vickers (Miazga, 61′), O’Neill, Ocegueda; Rubin, Joya (Hairston, 83′), Hyndman (Flores, 61′), Serna; Rodriguez (Spencer, 71′), Morris (Hernandez, 83′)