With rumours circling that Neymar is set to leave PSG, or any big-name player for that matter due to financial fair play regulations, it seems to be quite an exciting time in the Spanish capital with a change of management and now being heavily linked with the former Barcelona star.
Of course, the possibility of this actually happening is quite slim, and every Real Madrid fan will be praying for Neymar to turn his back on his former club, and La Liga rivals, Barcelona in order to form a clinical strike force alongside Cristiano Ronaldo (and Benzema…or not). However, it also seems that Florentino Perez, current president of Real Madrid, is trying to do his own sort of discovery in Brazil for the “next Neymar”, just in case money can’t solve this problem. Introducing 2 young starlets who have already agreed to sign for Real Madrid: Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior.
At a glance, both players have been signed for a reported €45 million apiece (£39.3m/$52.2m) with Santos confirming that Rodrygo will stay at the club for another season, and Flamengo agreeing a deal for Vinicus Junior to join Real Madrid in July 2018, with the option to remain at Flamengo until the start of the 2019/20 season. Real Madrid have also confirmed that both players will “play their football at Real Madrid when they reach the legal age requirement,” so there’s clearly some plan put in place with the future of Los Blancos in mind.
Rodrygo has been touted as the next Brazilian wonderkid (although the same could be said the season before about Vinicius Junior…this happens a lot in football) having scored 6 goals and providing 2 assists in 15 appearances in the 2017-18 campaign. These first team statistics are then further heightened by him scoring 3 goals in 4 games for Brazil’s U-17 side and receiving a call up to the Brazil U-20 side, clearly underlining his ability to perform at an international level within his age category. Furthermore, he has gone down as the youngest ever play to score a goal in the Copa Libertadores, netting 6 times in 1 match whilst playing for the Flamengo U-17 side. Often found playing as a Left Forward, it was only a matter of time before comparisons between Rodrygo and Neymar were going to appear, and having averaged 2.6 completed dribbles per game his style of play certainly fits the mould.
Our second prodigy, Vinicius Junior, has had similar success at Brazil U-17 level, notching 12 goals in 15 appearances. And his league form isn’t too bad either, scoring 4 goals and providing 3 assists in the 2017-18 season so far, with Flamengo sitting top of the Brazilian Serie A. Playing predominantly as a Left Midfielder, similarly to Rodrygo, it’s very possible to see his inclusion within the Real Madrid squad where he can compete against Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio for the vacant role on the left flank – assuming Real Madrid begin to utilise Cristiano Ronaldo more as a striker, given his age, power and incredible footballing intelligence. Additionally, averaging 2.7 shots per game and 2.6 completed dribbles per game, Vinicius Junior shows signs of easily fitting the Real Madrid style of exciting and attack-minded players.