Carlo Ancelotti hailed Vinicius Junior’s “extraordinary” late goal in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Sevilla on Sunday, acknowledging the Brazil star has what it takes to “be one of the best in the world”.
The winger’s 87th minute goal – his ninth goal in La Liga this season – came after Rafael Mer opened the scoring for the visitors and Karim Benzema equalized in a tight first half at the Bernabeu.
The 21-year-old received the ball from the left touchline, controlled it with his chest and drove to the ground before firing an unstoppable right-footed shot past goalkeeper Bono.
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“An exceptional goal” when asked to choose a word to describe the end, coach Ancelotti said in a post-match press conference, describing Vinicius as “a player who has something special on his feet”.
He added, “What surprises me in Vinicius is the quality that he possesses in scoring goals. His individual quality is not a surprise, I knew that he was strong in dribbling, in one by one, with his speed, but he surprised everyone now with his ability to score.”
Real Madrid’s victory over their top four teammates leaves them at the top of the standings by four points, while Sevilla slipped to fourth place behind Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad.
“Vinicius showed today a quality that I don’t think he’s shown before,” Ancelotti said. “It’s another step he’s taking to be one of the best players in the world… The important thing is that he’s focused on efficiency. When the opportunity comes, you have to take it.”
With nine goals in 14 league matches, Vinicius has tripled his tally in the last two full seasons in La Liga, and has become a key player alongside Benzema – who has 11 goals – in attack.
His colleague Casemiro said: “Viennese knows that the matches will be more difficult for him now.” “People have realized that he is a great player.
“We know he will be marked, sometimes by two or three players, but when he gets the slightest chance he has to make the difference.”
Next comes Real Madrid on Wednesday, hosting Athletic Bilbao in a rescheduled match from Round 9, before traveling to third-placed Real Sociedad next weekend.