The story of how Juni Calafat signed Vinicius for Real Madrid

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Juni Calafat is the man behind Real Madrid’s recruitment in South America, especially Brazil. Back in 2017, according to Marca, he met the then-16-year-old Vinicius for the first time in Rio de Janeiro, when he was at Flamengo. Florentino Perez had given Calafat the task of finding the new Lionel Messi.

Calafat travelled to Brazil over ten times to meet Vinicius and convince him to sign for Los Blancos ahead of Barcelona, who were also enamoured with the skinny teenager. The two formed a relationship that continues to this day – they’re good friends.

Calafat suffered as Vinicius struggled to perform consistently in his first few seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, but is revelling in his lethal form right now. The Brazilian has contributed 12 goals and seven assists in 22 games across all competitions this term.

As well as Vinicius, Calafat was also the man behind the signings of Eder Militao and Rodrygo, both of whom are developing nicely in recent times. He’s well-trusted by the powers-that-be at Madrid, hired as a South American scout in 2013 before being promoted to the position of Chief Scout two years later.



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