Real Madrid CF suffered a major blow both to the ego and to their sporting project when they lost out on signing Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain during the summer transfer window. While the Frenchman is believed to be on his way to the Santiago Bernabeu when his current contract expires with the Ligue 1 outfit, Los Blancos have found an unexpected hero in Vinícius Júnior in the meantime.
After having a promising debut with the club under the guidance of former manager Santiago Solari in 2018/19, Vini Jr. had a dip in form under Zinedine Zidane that saw him failing to find consistency and the maturity and composure needed in front of the goal.
Now, with the confidence and guidance of Carlo Ancelotti behind him, the young Brazilian has found a way to make the most out of his undeniable talent. Real Madrid fans have seen that, and they have been showing their appreciation for the four goals that he has already scored for the club this season.
Vinicius came off the bench and scored in the opening two games in La Liga. He then took the starting position from Eden Hazard in the third match, and started again last Sunday against Celta Vigo in the club's first match back at the newly-renovated Santiago Bernabeu.
He scored a goal in Real Madrid's 5-2 victory that evening, and fans embraced him both figuratively and literally. Vini showed his appreciation to the fans who came out to the stadium by jumping straight into the stands to celebrate his goal.
It was a controversial move given the restrictions on physical contact due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. However, the fans flocked to the player, and police had to intervene in order to break up the party.
Overall, the feeling appears to be mutual, and Madridistas are quickly getting over the Mbappe disappointment over the summer. The question is, how much will the emergence of Vinicius change Carlo Ancelotti's plans for January. Furthermore, club president Florentino Perez is watching everything closely, and it remains to be seen if Mbappe's planned arrival will be affected.