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Real Madrid concerned about opposition players targeting superstar, fear Neymar-like situation



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid attacker Vinicius Jr is known for his dazzling dribbling ability and the turn of pace that often leaves opposition defenders dead in their tracks. The 22-year-old has slowly morphed into a superstar at the club over the past 18 months or so, emerging as one of their most important players.

Indeed, Vinicius played a key role in Real Madrid’s La Liga and UEFA Champions League triumphs last term and has been carrying the baton in attack this season with Karim Benzema battling fitness problems.

However, the Brazilian has had a rough past few weeks as opposition defenders have been targeting him and relying on underhanded tactics to stop the speedster.

It was very much evident in the defeat to Rayo Vallecano earlier this week, with the Madrilenian club’s right-back, Ivan Balliu, even admitting to targeting Vinicius.

The case was similar last night against Cadiz as the 22-year-old was repeatedly on the receiving end of harsh challenges and fouls throughout.

This is now starting to become a major concern for Real Madrid, reports AS. Los Blancos are worried about opponents tackling and putting in rough challenges on Vinicius and fear that he could face a Neymar-like situation given how the PSG superstar is targeted by opposition players with strong and violent tackles.

Given how things panned out against Cadiz, Real Madrid’s concerns are not unfounded. Ivan Alejo alone fouled Vinicius on as many as five occasions on Thursday night, out of the seven he suffered. Against Rayo, the former Flamengo wonderkid was fouled six times.

In total, Vinicius has been fouled a whopping 48 times in La Liga this season which is the highest for any player across the top five European leagues.

After Thursday’s game, the Real Madrid ace tweeted: “Thank God, one more match without injury,” which pretty much summed up his situation. However, despite being on the receiving end of harsh treatment from opponents, Vinicius does not plan on changing his ways and style of play.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool monitoring 19-year-old Bundesliga wonderkid – Romano



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all monitoring Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wonderkid Florian Wirtz.

After recovering from his ACL injury, the teenage sensation has been slowly working his way back to his best form. So far this term, Wirtz has managed to rack up a tally of two goals and six assists from 13 matches in all competitions.

The 19-year-old’s talent and potential have never been in question and hence it does not come as a surprise that elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on the German international.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Wirtz is capable of playing anywhere in the final third of the pitch and backs up with top-notch end product. Be it as a false-nine or in a more withdrawn role, the youngster has excelled for Bayer Leverkusen, catching the attention of top teams.

Real Madrid, for their part, are also understood to be among Wirtz’s admirers. Given the situation surrounding Karim Benzema’s fitness and the lack of backup at the top, the youngster could be an option, as he has shown potential while operating through the middle.

But Barcelona also have a strong interest in the teenager with reports even suggesting that they have already made contact with his father to enquire about his situation.

At the same time, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to be a huge admirer of his fellow German and with Roberto Firmino on his way out, Wirtz could be lined up as a possible replacement.

However, Romano adds that the expectation is that Wirtz could stay at Bayer Leverkusen for one more year and depart Germany once the UEFA Euro 2024 is out of the way.

For now, there have been talks or negotiations with any clubs, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all tracking Wirtz and his progress in Germany.

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