Real Madrid continued their inch-perfect start to the league season when they swept aside RCD Mallorca 4-1 at Santiago Bernabeu this past weekend.
The reigning Spanish champions had started the game slowly, drawing 1-1 at half-time. But they gained momentum thanks to a brilliant equaliser from Federico Valverde, before a strong second-half showing that saw them bag three goals.
One of the protagonists behind their improved performance in the second half was Vinicius Junior. The Brazilian international effortlessly beat Mallorca’s deep block, eventually scoring the winner in the 72nd minute.
However, apart from scoring the all-important goal, Vinicius was not afraid to showboat either, showcasing his skills on the ball and probing the opposition defenders at every chance.
That said, the Brazilian was subjected to intense pressure due to his showboating skills. According to Javier Herraez, the RCD Mallorca bench was taunting the winger, chanting: “Party boy, party boy”.
The bench also urged Mallorca defenders to put up strong challenges on Vinicius, shouting: “Break him, break him”.
However, that did not deter Vinicius from causing all sorts of menace to the opposition defenders. His sheer pace and trickery out wide made life difficult for the Mallorca backline, who ultimately had to succumb to pressure and give away three late goals.
In the end, Real Madrid were able to secure a comfortable 4-1 victory, which helped them maintain their hundred percent winning record in La Liga. Thanks to the win, Real Madrid have also maintained their two-point lead over FC Barcelona at the top of the league table.
Up next, Real Madrid are set to welcome RB Leipzig on the second matchday in the UEFA Champions League. The reigning European champions had started the season with a 3-0 win over Celtic, and another win could go a long way in helping them gain an early headstart.
Real Madrid closely following the progress of 19-year-old Brazilian centre-back
Real Madrid have made it a habit to identify and sign the best young talents from Brazil in recent times. The Merengues recently signed Endrick Felipe from Palmeiras, although the striker will join the club in 2024, once he turns 18 years old.
Now, according to journalist Bruno Andrade on UOL Esporte, Real Madrid have set their sights on 19-year-old Brazilian defender Robert Renan.
The teenage centre-half came through the ranks at Corinthians and went on to make 13 senior appearances for the Brazilian outfit. He left the club last month to sign for Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg as part of the operation involving Yuri Alberto.
Renan is yet to make his debut for Zenit, but Real Madrid have had their eyes on the 19-year-old for a while now and have been closely following his progress and performances.
The teenage defender is currently a part of the Brazil U-20 team at the South American U-20 Championship in Colombia. And he has performed admirably in the tournament, featuring in each of his team’s five matches so far.
Renan’s performances in the U-20 Championship are said to have further piqued the interest of Real Madrid.
The report suggests that Los Blancos will continue keeping tabs on the young defender’s development at Zenit over the coming months.
With Nacho Fernandez’s contract expiring at the end of the season and Jesus Vallejo’s future uncertain as well, Real Madrid could use a defensive reinforcement in the summer to support Eder Militao, David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger.
Established players such as Josko Gvardiol have been linked with a move to the Bernabeu.
Renan, too, could be an option for Real Madrid in the summer. But, as things stand, the interest in the Brazilian is at a very nascent stage and the Merengues will continue to track his progress at Zenit, where his contract runs until 2028.