Vinicius Junior ‘is a great player for his age’ says Karim Benzema after Shakhtar Donetsk win

Vinicius-Karim Benzema-Real Madrid

Karim Benzema has called Vinicius Junior a ‘great player’ after the youngster starred in Real Madrid‘s win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Brazilian attacker scored two goals on the night and was a constant threat throughout the game, leading to Benzema praising him specially.

 Almost a year ago, Benzema criticised Vinicius for a poor display in the first half of their UCL match with Borussia Monchengladbach. The French striker was caught on camera telling Ferland Mendy in the tunnel at half-time ‘don’t give it to him, it’s like he’s playing for the other side’.

But after the game against Shakhtar, Benzema said Vinicius is ‘a great player’ for his age’.

“He is still young, and he deserves everything he’s getting at the moment,’ Benzema said. 

“He’s a great player for his age. He is scoring goals and creating them and we all hope it continues.”

Benzema was also on the scoresheet as Madrid thrashed Shakhtar 5-0. 

“This was a very important game for us after we lost the last one at home. It will help everyone’s confidence ahead of the game against Barcelona.”

Speaking about his sublime goals, Vinicius insisted that the goals were down to hard work on the training ground.

“I am always trying that move in training and it always comes off, but sometimes it’s more difficult in games,” he said.

When asked about his 12-month transformation in front of the goal, he said: 

“I’m only 21-years-old. I have a lot of time to become the great player that the club and I believe I can. I keep working hard. Sometimes it doesn’t come off for me, but that’s normal. I keep trying and the goals come.

“I have now scored seven goals this season; that is already more than last season.”

Asked about the need to be more consistent and produce goals game after game, Vinicius added: 

“I have always been able to handle the pressure. The coach helps me with the confidence he shows in me. We love these Champions League games. Now we can rest and look forward to Sunday.”