Vinicus Junior made his professional debut at Flamengo on May 13. He played eight minutes as a substitute during a 1-1 draw against Atletico Mineiro. The teenager has been nothing but sensational in every youth rank he’s played in, generating much excitement on his development.
He’s scored 19 goals in 22 appearances for Brazil’s Under-17 side, guiding them to the South American championship with seven goals. On Youtube, you will find numerous video clips of his goals and (dribbling) skills.
In short: yes, I get the hype. But €46m for a 16-year-old? Seriously? That’s just insane in every way possible.
Madrid will defend themselves by saying they’ll only pay the fee when Vinicius Junior turns 18 and they’ll bring him to Europe a year later. However, does this really make up for the almost criminal transfer the club’s completing here? Not really.
I’m not even sure what this is all about anymore. Sure, football is big business. There aren’t many sports where money plays such an influential role and where massive budgets are necessary to make a notable difference. However, where football was always called a noble sport, there’s nothing noble about spending crazy on kids.
Even Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, not exactly heading a poor club, was amazed by Los Blancos spending so much on the 16-year-old. “This is the market today”, Guardiola said during a Press conference.
Meanwhile, Monaco reportedly rejected an offer north of €70m for Kylian Mbappe and have slapped a price tag exceeding €100m on an 18-year-old kid playing his first full season as a professional.
In today’s market, it seems €50m has become the standard. And for that amount, a player just needs to possess “the potential to be good”. He doesn’t even have to show a solid record on the highest level. Nope, it’s all about the potential and the resale value.
There’s not even that much controversy about Real’s deal for Vinicus Junior. Which makes me wonder: has the world of football lost all form of dignity? You just don’t pay €46m for a kid that isn’t even capable of making his own decisions in life. In any other context, there would be protests. Not in football, however. Hello FIFA?
I wouldn’t even be surprised Vinicius Junior becoming a major flop. In fact, I hope he does.