Santiago Solari and Casemiro Praise Vinicius Jr. After Real Madrid's Derby Win

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 09: Vinicius Jr of Real de Madrid warms up prior to the La Liga match between  Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at Wanda Metropolitano on February 9, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Patricio Realpe/ Agencia Press South/Getty Images)
Agencia Press South/Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari and midfielder Casemiro have heaped praise on Vinicius Jr. following his excellent display in the 3-1 win over Atletico Madrid.

The youngster has cemented his place in the senior side at the Santiago Bernabeu and was a threat throughout as Real earned a big win at the home of their local rivals on Saturday.

Speaking after the game, Solari said Vinicius can get even better when asked whether there's a ceiling on his potential, per Gonzalo Castro of AS:

"He's got many years ahead of him in football. He's a kid of 18 years of age. Vinicius is learning from the best. He is very well advised and looked after by the squad, which will only add to his game."

Solari joked that a lot of journalists in the room were old enough to have a child the Brazilian's age.

Casemiro was also full of praise for his countryman at the end of a week when he starred in matches against both Barcelona and Atletico:

"He is showing that he is really good and he can fit in perfectly at Madrid. You have to have patience with Vinicius. 

"We can't put too much pressure on him because he is so young. Until three months ago, he was playing in Segunda B, and he isn't 20, he's only 18. But it's obvious that he's quick, has quality and when he plays he surprises people.

"If he plays like this at 18, imagine what he can do in a few years when he is 20, for example."

Having moved to Madrid in the summer, there was a lot of pressure on Vinicius to thrive despite his tender years. Not only did he hold a reputation as one of the best young prospects in the world, he was signed for a whopping £38.7 million from Flamengo.

In recent weeks, it's been easy to see why Los Blancos were willing to part with that kind of money for him.

Per Spanish football journalist David Cartlidge, he is adept at making defenders look silly:

While the ability he possesses has always been clear, what will impress Madridistas most is the way in which Vinicius has thrived in what are so often the two most challenging stadiums for Real to visit.

As Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC relayed, he doesn't appear to be daunted by the big occasion:

That bodes well for a team that have become accustomed to challenging for the biggest prizes, especially given Los Blancos still remain in the hunt for La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League glory.

Solari won't want too much pressure to fall on the shoulders of the Brazilian, though, as he is still young and has a lot of developing to do. Even so, if he continues to put in performances of such a high standard against elite opposition, keeping a lid on the hype will be a massive challenge.  

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