SCOUTING REPORT: Manchester City stars will be having nightmares about Vinicius Junior… the Real Madrid winger is the most complete player in his position on the planet
- Manchester City face Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League
- The Brazilian wide player is among the Spanish club’s most important players
- Vinicius Jr carries a threat that could prove fatal for Pep Guardiola’s team
It was the small hours of yesterday by the time King Felipe VI had completed his dash from one coronation in London to another in Seville.
The Spanish monarch shook hands with football royalty as Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey for a 20th time — thanks to a Rodrygo brace — but Carlo Ancelotti’s side had no time for partying.
Real jetted straight back to the capital to rush some recovery and prepare for tomorrow’s era-defining Champions League semi-final with Manchester City, where they will search for a 15th European Cup crown.
Mail Sport delivers a scouting dispatch from a long night in Seville…
Mail Sport headed out to Seville to produce a scouting report on Manchester City’s next opponents
Vinicius is up there with the best
Osasuna had waited 18 years for a cup final — and nearly went into financial meltdown in the meantime — but just two minutes were on the clock when their hearts were broken. Vinicius Junior squared up to his marker and danced past two defenders before producing a sublime assist for his compatriot Rodrygo. Is there a more complete winger in world football than Vinicius?
With 22 goals and 21 assists, few have better numbers this season. Real fans even sang ‘Vinicius Ballon d’Or’ during celebrations in Madrid’s Plaza de Cibeles.
He gave Jon Moncayola a torrid evening with his darting runs and searing pace — his stats have the 22-year-old as the best dribbler in world football. Manchester City’s defenders might be having nightmares.
Vinicius Junior is up there with the best wide players on the planet – he could hurt City
Eternal midfield has ample back up
Luka Modric spent 82 minutes of this game on the substitutes’ bench until the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner replaced a tired Toni Kroos to a huge ovation.
It feels that the pair, Kroos now 33 and Modric 37, are eternal in Real’s midfield but their days are slowly becoming numbered.
No need for Real supporters to worry, though. Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni and Fede Valverde are high quality replacements, with the small matter of Jude Bellingham likely to follow this summer. Uruguayan gem Valverde often takes up an extremely advanced position just behind Karim Benzema, and causes problems in behind as the Frenchman drops short.
With City keeping a notoriously high line, Valverde could be a thorn to watch out for.
That said, though, if he doesn’t do the defensive dirty work, City could pick Real apart.
Tchouameni, the 23-year-old Frenchman who scored against England in the World Cup, looked a little leggy towards the end of the final and Madridistas suggest he is yet to rediscover his best levels after his fine tournament in Qatar.
Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga are evidence of a succession plan at Real Madrid
Camavinga is a joy to watch with his balletic movement and silky passing skills in tight spaces. But his talents are wasted at left back. He links up well with Vinicius but looks shaky defensively, and with Bernardo Silva likely to start on the right wing for City, he could be targeted by Pep Guardiola.
There are no worries on the other flank, though. Dani Carvajal put in a warrior-like performance as Real won their first Copa del Rey since 2014. Not many full backs have pocketed Jack Grealish this season but Carvajal could break that trend.
In central areas, Erling Haaland will be licking his lips with brutish defender Eder Militao suspended. Osasuna exploited Antonio Rudiger when he came on as a substitute here.
The German has started five of 10 Champions League matches this season but will play in Militao’s absence.
Erling Haaland will be licking his licks with Eder Militao suspended for the first leg
Post source: Daily mail