Vinícius Junior showed the best and worst sides of his developing game while playing for Real Madrid Castilla today, scoring a wonder goal, before being sent off for diving and goading the opposition support during a crazy five minute spell.
The Spanish club forked out €46million for his services in 2017 when he was only 16-years-old, with FIFA rules dictated he would have to remain in his home nation until his 18th birthday. This meant he only arrived at Real Madrid this summer.
He is seen by many as the next great talent to emerge from Brazil, and arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu with massive expectations. He is being brought along slowly in the Spanish capital, splitting time between the first team and the reserve side.
Today he was part of the Real Madrid Castilla side facing Celta Vigo 'B'. With his team trailing 1-0 with 82 minutes on the clock, Vinícius Junior stepped up to convert an absolutely sublime free-kick.
— Cantera Real Madrid (@lafabricacrm) October 21, 2018
The dip and swerve on the shot is incredible, and left the goalkeeper with no chance.
With the game in the balance entering the final five minutes, we then seen the less attractive side of the young Brazilian's game.
Only three minutes after his stunning goal, Vinícius Junior tried to buy a cheap free-kick just outside the penalty area. The referee saw straight through this however, issuing him a yellow card for diving. Having already been booked earlier in the game, he received his marching orders.
While walking off the pitch, he grabbed the Real Madrid badge on his jersey and showed it off to the home crowd.
Tranquilidad...aquí estoy yo nuevamente para enseñaros el piscinazo gordo del gran Vinicius por el que ha sido hoy expulsado y que no veremos en ningún telediario...cada vez más próximo a Neymar de Hacendado... pic.twitter.com/vGl8crQrKA
— Cristóbal Soria (@cristobalsoria) October 21, 2018
With Real Madrid struggling in La Liga, we may see Vinícius Junior in the first team sooner rather than later. However, judging by today's game he certainly has some maturing to do.