Real Madrid teenager Vinicius Junior says he is “working hard” to follow the path of Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling by becoming a more regular goalscorer.
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Vinicius slotted home from close range for his first goal since September in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Club Brugge in the Champions League.
The Brazil international has netted six times in 43 appearances for Madrid, who he joined from Flamengo in July 2018, a year after his reported €45 million (£39m/$51m) buyout clause was triggered.
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Vinicius does not believe his game is suited to scoring goals freely, but he hopes to improve in that department over time.
Citing the example of Sterling, who has become increasingly clinical in front of goal over the past few seasons, the 19-year-old attacker said: “I don’t play to score. I play to help the team.
“Sterling at City also had trouble scoring goals. I left Brazil very early and I’m working hard to do great things.”
Vinicius’ compatriot Rodrygo Goes was also on target for Madrid in Belgium, taking his tally to six goals for the campaign.
Rather than being envious of Rodrygo’s impressive start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu, though, Vinicius is pleased for his team-mate.
“We’re friends,” he said, according to Marca. “I’m happy because he is doing things very well.”
The plan for Vinicius is to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu alongside Rodrygo for as long as possible.
It has been suggested that a loan move may do his ongoing development more good at this stage than battling for minutes with the Blancos.
The highly-rated youngster is, however, adamant that he can make his mark in the Spanish capital, with the full support of head coach Zinedine Zidane still enjoyed.
Vinicius added on the exit talk: “I want to stay, I have never thought about leaving Real Madrid. My dream is to always play here and make history.
“From last season with [Santiago] Solari to this one with Zidane, nothing has changed, what happens is that we are now more complete players. Zidane has the support of everyone. ”
Real, fresh from making their way into the last 16 of the Champions League, will be back in La Liga action on Sunday when they take in a trip to Valencia.