Vinicius Jr is reportedly looking to following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema as Real Madrid’s penalty taker.
- Blancos need new penalty taker
- Boasted reliable options in the past
- Brazilian forward wants responsibility
WHAT HAPPENED? The Brazil international has forged his own reputation as a global superstar while at Santiago Bernabeu, with 45 goals recorded across the last two seasons – including a winning effort in the 2022 Champions League final.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Vinicius has rarely been given a sniff of spot-kick duty while at Real, but that situation may be about to change. Free-scoring French striker Benzema has left for Al-Ittihad, meaning that somebody else is required to take over from 12 yards in 2023-24.
AND WHAT’S MORE: Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo used to take on that responsibility, and he scored 80 of the 94 penalties that he took for Real (a conversion rate of 85.1%). Legendary former skipper Ramos then took over – with the iconic defender once scoring 25 spot-kicks in a row, while ending his spell in Madrid with 30 of 35 efforts converted (87.5%). Benzema hit the net with 29 of his 35 penalties (82.85%), with Vinicius having never taken a competitive spot-kick for club or country.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Marca has, however, reported on Vinicius spending 10 minutes after training in Los Angeles – during Real’s pre-season tour of America – taking penalties with technical assistant Francesco Mauri and youth team goalkeeper Fran Gonzalez. The 23-year-old is said to be keen on inheriting that role in the upcoming campaign, which should help him to improve what is already an impressive strike rate.
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