Vinicius Jr, currently in Qatar preparing for the World Cup with the Brazilian National Team, gave an interview with Reuters today where he discussed his mentors at both the international and club level, and some of the goals he has off the pitch as well.
“It helps to play for Real Madrid and Brazil because I can learn from all those great players who have won a lot in their careers,” Vinicius said. “I listen a lot. I like to learn from the most experienced players, like Karim (Benzema) and Neymar. Taking pressure has always been easy for me, being a star, as you say. I’ve always been sensible”.
Vinicius, who has been the brunt of many aggressive challenges, also spoke about what happened against Cadiz in November where he and Rodrygo were both targeted with dirty tackles.
“What happens on the field stays there, but it got out of hand,” Vinicius explained. “You can go in strong, but they were dirty. Rodrygo and I suffered a lot in recent games and we feared the worst, getting injured and miss the World Cup.”
Vinicius says that learning from Neymar and Benzema has helped him.
“When you start to be an important player, rivals come after you stronger and you have to learn to take it,” The Real Madrid winger said. “I learned a lot from Neymar when he was at Barcelona, he suffered a lot too. Just like Cristiano when he was at Real Madrid.
“Benzema was the one who told me to be calm and have peace of mind because if rivals come for you it’s because you’re important, because they’re afraid of you. That’s why when I catch the ball and go forward I do it hard. Yes, I can get injured, but I’m prepared.”