Few players have lit up the footballing world over the past year quite like Vinicius Junior. The Real Madrid and Brazil winger has dazzled fans and viewers worldwide with his electric pace and pinpoint accuracy, he has been instrumental in Real Madrid’s domestic and European success.
The 2022 Qatar World Cup is packed full of exciting talent. It seems the majority of the 32 teams have a star in their ranks, or several in some cases. Brazil is certainly one of these, it’s rare to see such a star-studded side, even for a Brazil team. They come in as strong tournament favorites, and it’s easy to see why. Will Vinicius Junior be the star of this year’s World Cup? Find out here.
Real Madrid Success
After a move from Flamengo in 2017, Vinicius Junior has spent his career at Real Madrid. He had cemented his place in the first team by his fourth year at the club and is now one of their most important players.
He played an enormous part in securing Real Madrid’s La Liga title in the 2021/22 season, scoring in vital games against Alaves, Levante, and Elche.
However, it was in the Champions League that Vinicius Junior really caught the world’s attention. He provided six assists and netted four goals, including the winner in the final against Liverpool, over the course of Real Madrid’s thrilling Champions League campaign. His incredible performances earned him UEFA’s Champions League Young Player of the Season award.
After such an amazing year, it’s no wonder Vinicius Junior is among the players tipped to be the standout at this year’s World Cup tournament. However, he’s got some stiff competition, even within his own team.
The Brazil Team
Brazil’s 2022 World Cup squad is one of their strongest in years. From front to back, it is a side steeped in talent and experience. Liverpool stalwart Alisson Becker will be between the sticks, supported by a defence composed of Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Danilo, and Alex Sandro. The inimitable Neymar will take his place in the forward line, alongside Richarlison, Raphinha, and Vinicius Junior himself. This is a frightening attacking force and will strike fear into any and all of Brazil’s opponents, each player is quite capable of becoming the tournament’s best performer.
It will come as no surprise to learn that Brazil are favorites to lift the trophy, with sports betting platforms like 10bet live in South Africa putting them well ahead of the competition.
What About The Other Teams?
Of course, it’s not just Brazil that has some of the tournament’s best players. There are serious talents across almost all the other 32 teams, each of who will be keen to make an impression on football’s biggest stage.
Perhaps the player who has received the most media attention in the run up to the tournament is Lionel Messi. This is expected to be the Argentinian wizard’s last World Cup, and his last chance to secure the trophy that has eluded him throughout his career. Argentina are favourites behind Brazil to win, so Vinicius Junior and his teammates will face some serious competition.
Similarly, to Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo will also be taking part in what will likely be his last World Cup. He too has failed to lift the trophy so far in his career and will be desperate to add one last accolade to his cabinet and overcome his great South American rival.
Messi and Ronaldo are in the twilight of their careers, but their gift is so great that it would come as no surprise if either was the tournament’s best performer. However, there are also a number of younger talents that could pip Vinicius Junior as the World Cup’s brightest star.
French forward Kylian Mbappe was instrumental in France’s World Cup victory in 2018. He has improved even more since then, putting in a string of world class performances for Paris St Germain.
Spain’s Pedri is also predicted to stand out. The Barcelona midfielder is only 19 but shows a vision and game intelligence beyond his years.
Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic could also steal the show, provided his injury worries don’t keep him out of the Serbian team. Serbia’s first game is against Brazil, so we could get to make a direct comparison between Vlahovic and Vinicius Junior.
Vinicius Junior is undoubtedly one of the world’s best players. His fantastic performances for Real Madrid in La Liga and the Champions League have established him as one of the most promising young talents on the planet. Will he further cement his place at this year’s World Cup? We’ll just need to wait and see.