The new Vinicius, the one who saw the light in the 2021-22 season and whose light continues to shine brightly in 2022-23, is not just dribbling and scoring. The first version of the Brazilian, the one that was seen between the summers of 2018 and 2021, had plenty of self-confidence and speed, but the area was for him a confused nebula, thicker and thicker as he approached the rival net. With Ancelotti he resolved his traumas with the shot (22 goals in 2021-22, he has already scored 7 this season) and, incidentally, further sharpened another of his great qualities: assisting. Against Sevilla he was obtuse in finishing, signing a shot between sticks and two outside of them. However, he perfectly covered the file, on a day in which Benzema was also not there to turn on the light for the Whites in the moments of offensive darkness, with the assists for the first two Madrid goals. The first contained traces of those that Guti released on that same pitch: where no one was waiting for the ball, seeing Modric’s arrival from behind. The second, much more academic for Lucas Vázquez to score 2-1, highlighted his generosity. Against Sevilla, Vinicius was a delivery of joys.And no one happier than Ancelotti, who in his years as a midfielder knew something of the pleasure that comes from scoring a goal on a plate: “I want to highlight what Vinicius has done, giving two assists for his teammates to score on an empty goal. That means much more than a goal and I have told him, that he has to go even happier. He demonstrates a very great humility”. Even so, the Italian, in his permanent role as mentor, believes that there is still room for improvement for Vinicius and that it lies, mainly, in improving his resistance: “He is at a very high level and needs continuity, but it is not easy, because facing consumes a lot of energy. To progress, you must work on this.”
There is little doubt that, in the absence of Benzema (the Frenchman, with discomfort, will not travel to Leipzig), the importance of Vinicius in attack becomes even more relevant. He is, along with Valverde, the team’s top scorer (both have seven goals). To this he adds six assists and participates in a Madrid goal every 103 minutes. Numbers practically traced to those of last year: 22 goals and 20 assists in 4,274 minutes, participating in a goal every 102 minutes. He’s nailing his stats from last season: At this rate, he’d finish with 22 goals and 20 assists in 52 games. Vini marks them and distributes them, and Ancelotti smiles from the band.