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Vinicius JR: “Benzema thinks 10 seconds faster than everyone else”

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The Brazilian winger gave an interview to FourFourTwo and described the impact Benzema has had on his young career

Real Betis Balompie v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Vinicius JR has bursted back onto the Real Madrid scene in the last month after Eden Hazard once again fell victim to a long-term injury. The Brazilian has rediscovered his confidence and has earned the trust of Zinedine Zidane as the team’s starting left winger with Eden absent. In a recent interview with FourFourTwo, the 19-year-old discussed life at Real Madrid and was quick to point out the impact his more senior colleague, Karim Benzema, has had on his start to life in Madrid.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, Benzema has helped me the most since arriving at Real Madrid. Whenever we play together, he tells me to remain calm and focused. There was a match against Atletico when I lost possession and we conceded a goal. Benzema spoke to me about switching positions for a few minutes, so that I would receive possession less and regain my confidence to get back into the game. We did that and it worked perfectly. He’s experienced and has been at Real Madrid for more than a decade now, so it is a pleasure to learn from him,” the Brazilian revealed.

In the same interview, Vinicius also discussed the intensity and winning mentality involved with everything the Real Madrid squad competes in — no matter the activity. “It’s actually difficult to describe the quality we have at Madrid, and the players’ mindset is totally different, too. There’s such a winning mentality that every single one of us wants to win every single thing, to boost the competitiveness of activities,” he commented.

“If you slow down a little bit in training, the gap to everyone else will increase. Marcelo is so skillful with phenomenal ball control, and Karim thinks 10 seconds ahead of everyone else”.

Since the day Vinicius arrived at Real Madrid, he and Karim Benzema immediately clicked. The two produce a great chemistry both on and off the pitch. The Frenchman, who has faced the many high’s and the many low’s of a decade-plus Real Madrid career, has looked to be a mentor for the teenage Brazilian wonder-kid.