INTERVIEW | 26/04/2021"We like the Champions League and have won it more times than anyone else", he told UEFA's official media.
Vinicius Jr. gave an interview to the official UEFA media. The Brazilian, who was the star of the show in the Champions League quarter-final tie against Liverpool, gave his thoughts on the semi-finals: "Real Madrid, the best team in the world, are always prepared for the big games. We like big games, we like the Champions League and we've won it more times than anyone else. A lot of players here have already won the Champions League several times and they want to win it again. The younger ones want to win it like them".
You're now in the semi-finals of the Champions League, how has the Champions League journey been?
I'm pleased with the club's performance towards the end of the season and we have the chance to win two titles. We could have done better in the Group Stage as we made mistakes in some of the games that we shouldn't have, like losing at home to Shakhtar, but the biggest club in the world always instils fear in the opposition. Every side we come up against always trains harder and prepares more to play against Real Madrid. This jersey counts for a lot, the players know that and we always look to give everything so Real Madrid can be where they belong.
You were the star odf the show in the last tie against Liverpool, how did it feel to score two goals in the first leg?
It was very special. I was realy happy and they were probably the most important goals of my career. But I don't want it to stop there, I want to score in the semi-finals and, God willing, make the final so I can write my name in the history of Real Madrid. It's the best team in the world and I'm so happy to be here. Everyone is kind to me and is doing everything they can to help me. Getting those two goals in such an important game and getting the team into the semi-final of the biggest competition in the world is the greatest feeling. It's been hard to play without the fans because we're used to playing at the Bernabéu a big following.
What is your relationship with Zidane like?
I learn from Zidane every day, in every training session. He was a great player and he's a great coach. He does everything that he can do to make us feel good, not just when playing, but also at home, he asks a lot about our family. He also fills me with confidence and I learn so many things on the pitch. Tactically, he one of the coaches who has pushed me the most to do things, things that I do very naturally and in a relaxed way. He helps me in an attacking sense every day.
How has the Vinicius Jr. who arrived at RealMadrid changed from the one he is now?
I'm much more mature and understand the game better, understand when to attack. That allows me to improve every season in order to reach the highest level possible, to be among the best players in the world, playing for Real Madrid and winning titles. I'm now a completely different player, but with the same characteristics as before.
What do you think has helped you develop your talent in football?
Playing on the streets helped me lose my fear of dribbling because you don't have any responsibility. You can take lots of chances because there's nothing to lose. Futsal also helped me. Everyone says that Brazilian players have a lot of quality and I think it's because we play in small spaces, we started playing in the street when we were young and always with older people. All that helps us.
You're a specialist in one-on-one situations. Do you work on it or does it come naturally?
When I'm in one-on-one situations I never think about it, I always improvise. I'm very calm and I always try the best moves, because when I dribble past my marker it'll take me closer to the box to help the team. I think my style adapts to the style of every team, just like the Brazilian style adapts to the style of every club and every team in the world. I'll never change the way I play and I'll always try to keep doing what I did when I started playing. I'll always look to improve to get to a higher level.
Do you devote a lot of time to football?
I've always worked hard since I was a child and it's no different now. I work hard at home and at the club. I spend lots of time watching videos and doing physical work to prevent injuries. I think about all aspects, but mainly the tactical side of things. I'm improving and developing a lot every day. I give everything in every training session to get as many minutes as possible because I love playing football and this is the best place to keep learning.
How did you get started in football?
I started playing when I was four years old and always dreamed of playing for Flamengo and Real Madrid. I achieved that very early on. When I came to Europe I had to change my ways on and off the pitch to get used to another football culture. Coming here and playing with my idols required me to know when to listen to them and learn from them. These changes so young is both good and bad at the same time. It's good because you have more time to learn things, but you also face the fear and insecurity of playing for the biggest club in the world and doing things well.
Finally, what are your personal goals?
To continue playing for Real Madrid. I've already played more than 100 games for the club, which is a lot for a 20-year-old. Not many players have achieved that and I want to keep winning lots of trophies, scoring lots of goals and making the fans who follow us and my family happy.