Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior aiming to join Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland as world’s elite

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Vinicius Jr believes he is in the right place to become one of the elite players of his generation, like Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.

The Real Madrid striker has not only made his way into the club’s starting line-up, but has made full use of his best season since joining the Spanish giants from Flamengo in 2018.

The Brazilian now believes he has a chance to join Paris Saint-Germain’s Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund’s Haaland as one of the best players of his era.

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“Being at Haaland or Mbappe’s level is complicated because they are great players and they always score a lot of goals and provide assists and play some of the best football and I want to be there too,” Vinicius told ESPN. “So to get to that level I still have to work hard but to play for Madrid, it’s always like that.

“You have to be calm, you have to be patient, to do things well and in the right way. But if I continue like this, and everything is fine with the team, then of course I will be among the best.”

In his first three seasons, Vinicius scored only 15 goals in 118 matches eggs.

Vinicius, 21, scored 12 goals and assisted five others in 22 matches this season in all competitions for the Madrid team, which leads the Liga standings and tops Group D in the Champions League with five wins from six matches.

“I think it’s part of everything,” the Brazil international said of his impressive form. “Focus, hard work, and a team that helps me by giving a lot of balls to the players up front.

“So, we must continue in this way, to do big things this season and I want to keep helping this team so that I can always be at the top level, and be considered one of the best.”

While the competition for playing time is fierce in Madrid, it is also beneficial to have top-tier players as team members.

Vinicius said: “Yes, play with it [Toni] cross, [Luka] Modric, Casemiro and Karim [Benzema]Players who have won everything and want to keep winning. They pass on their experience to me, and it helps me to stay calm and do the things I do now with more calm, which is helping the team and winning things this season.

“The unity of this team, and [coach Carlo] Ancelotti and his team have also made it clear to us, that we have to work smart so that the team can do a good job, and I feel that with every step we take, we get better and better.”

Vinicius admitted that it is difficult to keep his emotions in check because he is one of the players who receive the most errors in La Liga.

“It’s always a little complicated,” he said. “I always try to respond in the best possible way but sometimes I don’t. But that’s normal, it’s my style of play and it’s a way they try to push me out of my game.

“But I’m always focused on my teammates around me, and they always tell me to stay calm and keep doing what I’m doing.” Real Madrid will hope that Vinicius can continue his strong performance on Sunday when they host defending champions Atlético Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu (Watch the live broadcast on ESPN+ at 3PM ET) ..

“Playing in the derby is always something special,” he said. “It will be a huge match for all the fans and for us as we currently have a good streak of unbeaten wins and we want to continue like this for many more matches. Of course, it will also be a very difficult match, but we are very focused on doing well.”

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