Santiago Solari will keep Vinicius Junior grounded after starring cameo



Posted Sunday, November 04, 2018 by PA

Santiago Solari will keep Vinicius Junior grounded after starring cameo

Real Madrid caretaker boss Santiago Solari plans to keep Vinicius Junior grounded following his game-changing cameo in the win against Real Valladolid, despite accepting that expectations of the teenager will now soar.

The 18-year-old Brazilian came on as a substitute after 73 minutes and with the game at the Bernabeu still goalless.

It was his shot that took a heavy deflection off Kiko Olivas which saw Solari’s side finally break the deadlock 10 minutes later before a Sergio Ramos penalty sealed a 2-0 victory and Real Madrid’s first win in six LaLiga games.

Solari, who has worked with the young attacker for Castilla, is happy to let the external hype grow as he will look to keep the youngster’s feet on the ground.

“It’s fantastic that people are excited. We can’t fight against what goes on outside,” Solari told the club’s official website.

“I’m not worried by the euphoria surrounding him. Us footballers can’t fight against what’s going on in the press or among fans.

“He’s got his whole career ahead of him and any assessment will have to be made in 20 years’ time. He’s another member of this squad, with his virtues and his defects, and he’s only played a couple of games in the Primera Division.”

Solari, in his first LaLiga game in charge, saw his team waste several chances to score and they lived dangerously at the other end as the visitors twice hit the crossbar in the second half with the game level at 0-0.

However, the Argentinian was pleased with the way the players handled the pressure and battled for the three points.

He said: “Real Madrid needed the win. In a tough moment it can be hard to win well and the game was a real challenge, tight, and scrappy, with a lot of counters. The boys were focused, driven right up until the end.

“These are true professionals with real experience and we all need to keep our emotions in check, even though we had some hair-raising moments in front of 80,000 fans.

“The group did fantastically well, they showed patience, managed the game well, did not lose shape and persevered to win.

“I want to be positive, not negative. I’d love to win every game 7-0 but I know how football is: it is tough and there are moments when the dynamics are better, times when things are delicate and require order, commitment, focus, impetus and competitive desire. In this game we showed all of those things.”

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