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Reinier: “I’m happy that they compare me to Kaká, I met him and he gave me advice”

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Real Madrid Unveil New Signing Reinier Jesus Carvalho Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s latest signing, Reinier Jesus Carvalho, was presented at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu this Tuesday. The Brazilian, who just turned 18 on January 19th, will be initially linking up with Castilla after completing his move from Flamengo and he spoke of his excitement at pulling on the famous white jersey.

“Today is a very happy day for me,” he said as he was presented. “It’s the day I fulfil a childhood dream. Thanks to all those who have been with me along the way. I want to form part of the history of this great club.”

A video showing the midfielder’s career highlights so far was shown and the player and his family were seen shedding some tears as they watched on.

Reinier then went out onto the pitch to perform some keepy-uppies in the Real Madrid shirt, before returning inside for his first press conference as a Real Madrid player. “It’s a dream for me to play for Real Madrid. This was a dream for all of my family. This has always been my team and I’ll give my all. It’s the biggest club in the world and there’s a lot of pressure, but I’ll give my all. I’m very happy to have this opportunity and I’m very grateful to all who have helped me, to my family. My father is my greatest hero.” Speaking about his family, Reinier broke down in tears with the emotion, but recovered and continued with the press conference.

He was asked about Kaká, a player he has often been compared too. The 18-year-old responded: “Kaká was an idol for me. He was Brazilian, of course, and I always watched him. He could arrive into the box and finish and he always had lots of touches. I’m very happy that they compare me to him. I was able to meet him and he told me a few things. He wished me a lot of luck. In terms of my style of play, I can play in all positions in attack, on the left, right and centre. Of course, I have things to improve, but I’ll give my all.”

He was also asked about the other young Brazilians at Real Madrid, Vinícius and Rodrygo. “They’re great players,” Reinier said. “I was in Vinícius’ house yesterday. I’ve known him since we were at Flamengo. There are many Brazilians here and I’m sure they’ll help me a lot. I’m ready to play and ready to make the most of any opportunities that they give me.”

In terms of where he’ll be playing first, he spoke about his willingness to work hard at Castilla and to play wherever and whenever asked. On that, he said: “I’m very happy with how my new teammates have welcomed me and with how Raúl has welcomed me. I’m very happy to be able to work with them. I’m sure we’ll work very well. I was very happy with the conversation I had with Raúl. I’ll give my all for this club. Zidane was such a great player too and he’s a Real Madrid idol. I’ve not spoken to Zidane yet. In terms of training with the first team or not, I’m here for whatever the club wants.”

He also explained how he learned of Real Madrid’s interest. “It was a very happy moment when my father phoned me about this news,” he said. “I was at the Club World Cup and I didn’t really know what to do. I started to cry and my teammates were also very happy for me when Real Madrid expressed their interest.”

Florentino Pérez’s message

Ahead of Reinier’s presentation, Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez also addressed the player’s family, the club directors and the media in attendance. “This is a place where we’re preparing to remain one of the leaders in world football. Many heroes have played here with Real Madrid’s badge and they have made this the most admired club in the world. We have some of the current best players in the world here with us and we’ve recently won four European and world titles, so it’s not easy to find new talents who can form part of the Real Madrid winning culture.”

It has been clear for some time that Real Madrid are looking for young players with great potential and Pérez spoke about this strategy. “One of our main objectives is to find talent, no matter where it is,” he said. “We’re looking for footballers who can be the stars of tomorrow. Every time a new player arrives at this club, it’s a day for all those who love Real Madrid to be happy. This player is only 18 years old, but has already won the Copa Libertadores and has played at a club as grand as Flamengo.”

Pérez also revealed that Reinier grew up admiring Zidane. “Your father used to show you videos of Zidane growing up,” Pérez said, addressing the midfielder directly. “Now, you’re here too on merit.”