'He's cooking' - Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior lauded as ‘best left winger in the world’ by Thierry Henry
- Vinicius shone brightly against Chelsea
- Assisted both Real Madrid goals
- Henry rates him as the best left-winger
WHAT HAPPENED? The Brazilian forward was the livewire for Real Madrid on the left flank and ended up assisting both their goals as Los Blancos brushed aside Chelsea 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final. Vinicius' run in behind the Chelsea defence paved the way for Madrid's opener and his electric pace coupled with his intricate skill moves handed a tough time to Wesley Fofana and Reece James.
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WHAT THEY SAID: During the CBS Sports post-match show, when Jamie Carragher asked Henry, whether Vinicius is the best left-winger in the world and the French legend replied: "Yes. At the moment, yes. You have guys that are doing okay at Arsenal in the Premier League. Martinelli is coming."
"This is what I am saying with Vinícius Jr, he pushes the ball to pass Reece James. He knows that, at that moment, he is going to lose that race. Okay, ‘I am going to lose it, but then I push again’. This is what I am saying, he thinks about what he is doing. He makes you fall. He makes you stumble. Pushes the ball again. He stops you. Squares you, then pushes the ball again. That’s the difference. He is a thinker. When I see Vinicius Jr on the ball, I can feel it, he’s cooking," the striker stated.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Under the tutelage of Carlo Ancelotti, Vinicius has turned on the heat playing for Real Madrid and finished in the eighth spot in the 2022 Ballon d'Or rankings, courtesy of his 22 goals and 20 assists in 52 appearances including a strike in the Champions League final. Despite being targeted by opposition defenders and booed in his travels to away games he continues to perform in the same vein and has already amassed 21 goals and 16 assists. It is this virtue which has won over Henry who also hailed his partnership with Karim Benzema upfront.
"In the last two years, Vinicius Jr has been solid. Do you know why I would give him being ahead of others? Where he is coming from. From an unwanted guy in a dressing room to a guy that gets kicked around every time he plays the game. Getting booed by the fans. Abused in pre-season. Again, the guy delivers. They try to kick him. They wanted him out of the dressing room. He delivers. Now, it looks a tiny bit like his team, although Benzema would have a word to say about that, but the two of them are brilliant," Henry added.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Vinicius will be looking to continue his good form when Real Madrid take on Cadiz in La Liga on Saturday.