Rio de Janeiro: Real Madrid teenager Vinicius Junior could become one of the best players in the world within three years, according to his Brazil and Los Blancos teammate Casemiro.
Vinicius has made 26 first-team appearances for the reigning European champions following his move from Flamengo in July, reports Xinhua news agency.
Having struggled for first-team opportunities early in the season, Vinicius has impressed as a regular starter under Argentine Santiago Solari, who replaced Julen Lopetegui as manager in November.
“He is doing very well, he has a good head on his shoulders and a good character,” Casemiro said in an interview with Brazil’s Esporte Interativo.
“He is showing that he is a Real Madrid player and that he can be a Real Madrid star. He could be one of the best players in the world in three years. He’s got to learn a lot of things and he’s growing in an incredible way. He has his feet on the ground and is focused on his football.”
Despite Real Madrid’s indifferent domestic form, Casemiro warned against writing off the team’s hopes of winning a fourth straight Champions League title.
Los Blancos need only a draw in their home match against Ajax on Tuesday to secure a berth in the competition’s last eight, having won the first leg 2-1.
“It’s normal for a team to have difficult moments but we’re on the up now,” the midfielder said.
“Now comes the most important part (of the season). We have tough opponents and we’re focused on trying to win all of the titles available even if it will be difficult.”