Vinicius Junior becomes Real Madrid’s joint third youngest player to play in the Champions…



Vinicius Junior has had a big upturn in fortune since the departure of Julen Lopetegui and the Brazilian put himself amongst some esteemed company on Wednesday night.

The 18-year-old, who joined Real Madrid from Flamengo in the summer, replaced Karim Benzema in the 62nd minute of his side’s 5-0 victory over Viktoria Plzen.

And in doing so he became the joint third youngest player ever to feature for the club in the competition.

Vinicius’ entry into the game in the Czech Republic saw him tie Iker Casillas, who also made his first appearance in the tournament at the age of 18 years and 118 days old against Olympiacos in 1999.

Only Jose Rodriguez (17 years and 354 days) and Raul (18 years and 78 days) have made their European debuts for Madrid at a younger age.

It was another positive outing for Vinicius, who has now participated in all three games under caretaker manager Santiago Solari.

The new boss has already played the exciting youngster for 135 minutes in three matches, compared to the 12 he played under Lopetegui.

Madrid have won all three of those with Wednesday’s thrashing their most convincing victory in quite some time.

After a sticky opening 15 minutes in which Nacho hit his own bar, Los Blancos were rampant

They were four up at half-time thanks to a brace from Karim Benzema and one each from Casemiro and Gareth Bale, with Toni Kroos adding a delightful chip in the second half.