Vinicius: “I’m close to my renewal; I want to be here as much as Marcelo, Karim…”

Vinicius: "Estoy cerca de mi renovación; quiero estar aquí tanto como Marcelo, Karim..."

Vinicius faces his first Champions League final on Saturday and, in an interview for The spar of Cadena SER, has reviewed the news of the white team ahead of the meeting, in addition to other topics such as the renewal of Mbappé, the importance of Benzema, his feelings…

Photo by Vinicius Junior

This week is special, what’s different about it? What do you notice different in your day to day as Saturday approaches?

I think nervousness to reach the final, my first final. But all the players on this team who have already played so many games give me the peace of mind I need. At home we don’t talk about football until the game arrives, better to be calmer. So we are very happy after a great season, not only mine, but the whole team that has made so many comebacks, so many beautiful games at the Bernabéu, so many magical nights, and the truth is that I am very happy and looking forward to Saturday.

The confidence that Ancelotti has given you has been key, right?

Yes, confidence is always important for all players, but I think it was the experience after playing three very difficult years here in Madrid, not having reached a final that the fans always expect. I think I have learned a lot from the coaches that have passed, with Zidane last season, that he has taught me a lot and I continue to progress to have great seasons like this one. Hopefully it will be my first season with so many goals and so many assists, and hopefully I can stay here for a long time.

Who is the one who gives you the most advice, who is the one who talks to you the most on a day-to-day basis, in the locker room, in training…?

The coach is the one who talks the most with Militao, Rodrygo and me, since we are the youngest, the ones who have the most to learn and we are always together, so he gives us advice together, so it is easier for him (laughs).

I am struck by how well all Ancelotti players speak, those of you who have been with him for many years, those who already know him, and those of you who are almost starting your career at Madrid, who are taking your first steps. What does Ancelotti give you?

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He is a great coach. I think he gives the tranquility and affection that is the most important thing. He talks to all the players, even the ones they aren’t playing with. We are all calm this season, we are all very happy and we are all very united, I had not seen a team as united as this season before Madrid.

What do you think about what Benzema has said about you? (“I have always told him to concentrate well and play his football as always. Because he is young, but he is not young on the field, because he has more than 100 games and today, for example, we are talking about the best player in the world and this kind of thing and they don’t talk about Vinicius, who is now in the top 5 because he scores goals, important goals, plays, he does everything, and he has to focus on the game because he can win it alone”).

The truth is that it is surprising and very happy with my season, with my connection with Karim, who since my arrival has given me a lot of affection, a lot of advice, and as he has always said to be focused, to give assists or to score goals, yes I don’t shoot, I don’t pass. So this season the truth is that we have scored so many goals together and for me it is an honor to play with Karim, to have him in the dressing room, to teach me, to tell me the right things to do. A 36-year-old player is in one of his best seasons, close to winning the Ballon d’Or, close to winning his fifth Champions League, he is a great player, a legend, who is also one goal away from beating Raúl. I gave him the pass so that he tied with Raúl, and now I can give him the pass in the final so that he beats him and wins in Paris.

Benzema has said that you are among the top five in the world, has he gone too far or is he okay?

I don’t know, I think with so many goals, so many assists, reaching the final as well and so many important games this season, I let people choose.

“The comebacks? It wouldn’t have happened anywhere else…”

For you, is Benzema the best in the world right now?

Yes, and far from the second. He’s had a great season, he’s done great things after playing with Cristiano for so long and giving Cristiano so many passes, growing up in so many games together, and it’s time to be fighting for the Ballon d’Or, I think he’s very happy and all the players also.

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You have reached the final against Liverpool. After three incredible qualifiers, what do you remember, how was PSG?

It was a magical night, and that only happens at the Bernabéu. You think that playing in another place would not have happened. The confidence we have after 90 minutes, the confidence we have in ourselves, in the fans and believe that we will always fight until the end. That this shirt has something very special that nobody has and the players feel that, not only us, surely the players of other teams feel it more than us.

What has been the most incredible of the three comebacks for you?

The one from City for Rodrygo’s two goals in one minute, but I think the one we enjoyed the most was against PSG, we won the game in 10 minutes and then we have about 15 more minutes to play, for the fans, to be happy. I think both. With City until the end it was a bit complicated, but in the end what had to happen happened.

Does Vinicius listen to PSG?

I’m happy here, I’m close to my renewal, we’re on our way, and I’m very happy at the biggest club in the world. I don’t want to leave here, I want to be here for as long as Marcelo, Karim, Luka have stayed, players who have made a very beautiful story and I want to continue like them. I am from Madrid and I am happy here.

“I don’t want to leave Madrid”

Are you glad that Mbappé didn’t arrive in the end?

This is a topic that we cannot talk about right now. Each player has his decision, and he has decided to stay in Paris and that’s it. We have a lot of players here who are progressing and evolving to have a good future in Madrid, which is the best and most beautiful place there is.

But, have you been surprised how everything has been done?

No, I don’t know what Mbappé thinks, I don’t know what other players think, I know what I think. But we are not there, we cannot speak what we do not know.

Ancelotti said whoever comes, his left wing man is Vinicius.

I remember it and it is where I feel more comfortable, calmer, where I make the best plays and the coach gives me the confidence I need.

“I don’t know what Mbappe thinks…”

Something always happens when Vinicius has the ball.

Yes, I always try to make great plays and this season with so many goals and assists, confidence is up, it’s normal and I want to continue for a long time. Hopefully it will be my first season with so many goals and assists.

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Is peace of mind in attendance worked, do you talk about it with Karim, how do you get it?

I think that after having played so many games with a team as nice as it is to play in Madrid, but so difficult due to the pressure and all that, I think I’m learning and I’m still learning. Not only me, Camavinga, Rodrygo, Valverde, Militao, who are the youngest players who are learning by playing, who are learning with the coach and with great players who have been here for a long time and pass on the confidence and experience they have.

You spread that joy that is essential for the locker room.

Surely we mixed the most experienced players with the youngsters, I think that was the union of that season. The arrival of Camavinga, from Alaba, I think we have come together so much and that is why we are in one more final.

Those nerves are anxiety for the game to arrive as soon as possible, right?

Yes, until it arrives. When it starts, that’s it, the most beautiful thing comes, where I can do what I want, then that’s where the most beautiful thing is and where I feel more confident than ever and than anyone else.

“If I score in the final? I think I’ll come out a little crazy…”

The family environment is also important these days.

I ask the people here who have played four finals for advice on the field and who will give me everything I have to do. At home they pass me the peace of mind so that I am happy.

Have you seen many Liverpool games? Are you clear about what you are going to find in front of you?

Yes, we see a lot of Liverpool games, a great team that has a lot of strength, a lot of intensity and if we match that with them, we are sure to win.

Do you believe all the casualties they have or do you think it’s a strategy?

That they play with everyone, we want both teams to have a great game with 100% of the players and concentration, and both of us to fight for the most important thing, which is the Champions League.

If you mark what are you going to do?

I don’t know, I haven’t prepared anything, I think I’m going to go a little crazy. Very happy to be close to playing my first final and hopefully I can play and win. When you arrive it is always to win.


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