The Brazilian youngster saw a fellow countryman warn him about the demands of life with the Blancos, but he believes he can thrive in Spain
Vinicius Junior admits to having been warned by fellow Brazilian Marcelo that life at Real Madrid is so demanding that “one day you’re Pele and the next day you’re not playing at all”.
The highly-rated forward has been finding that out the hard way at the Santiago Bernabeu.
He arrived in the Spanish capital from Flamengo in the summer of 2018 with a blossoming reputation and a €46 million (£39m/$51m) price tag around his neck.
Big things are expected of him, but Real and a loyal fan base are not renowned for their patience.
Vinicius claims to have been aware of that when he linked up with the Blancos, with the 19-year-old telling Placar: “Marcelo had already warned me: Here, one day you’re Pele and the next day you’re not playing at all.
“I look calm, but I get nervous inside.
“On my debut with Flamengo, I was scared to death. I didn’t want to touch the ball.”
Vinicius has overcome his nerves to become a regular part of the first team fold at Madrid.
He has taken in another 15 appearances this season and claims to be enjoying the pressure of performing under the brightest of spotlights.
“I am this way and I will never lose my joy,” he added.
Greater end product has been demanded from Vinicius, who has just two goals to his name in 2019-20, but he is confident that any critics can be silenced.
He said: “I let things happen naturally.”
Vinicius has the full support of manager Zinedine Zidane and a number of familiar faces around him in the Spanish capital.
Marcelo boasts bags of experience to pass on to his fellow countryman, while Rodrygo is another promising Brazilian looking to make his mark in European football.
Vinicius has been left out of Zidane’s starting XI for that contest, but may be offered a chance to make another important contribution from off the bench.