Why is Vinicius Jr. was the biggest key to winning the LaLiga Real Madrid

The story of the last few LaLiga seasons for Real Madrid is the lack of production in attack outside of Karim Benzema. After Cristiano Ronaldo left Madrid after the 2017/18 season, Benzema made a huge leap in form.

Even with that, Madrid struggled a lot in the 2018/19 season, finishing third in the league and coming out with Ajax in the Champions League in the round of 16. The season after that Madrid managed to win the league during that strange year of isolation while in the round of 16 of the Champions League he lost again to Manchester City. And last season Madrid lost in the league to Atletico Madrid while losing in the Champions League semi-finals. Despite some successes, the past few seasons have certainly been irresistible by Madrid’s high standards.

During these campaigns Madrid the second scorer after Benzema was Sergio Ramos. Which is proof of the lack of production of other attackers outside Benzema. Florentino Perez tried to solve this problem by spending big money on Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic. But the two have been almost non-existent since they signed.

Overall, the attack has lacked pace and dynamism in the last few seasons. Gareth Bale has aged and injured most of the time, Marco Asensio has suffered a significant injury and lost part of his athletic spirit, and outside of Benzema there just wasn’t much cause for excitement (or concern, as an opponent’s defense). Entering this season, the problem in attack remained.

Attacking profile at the beginning of the season

In the first game of La Liga this season, Ancelotti played in front of three Hazards, Benzema and Balea. On paper, it looked like this was pure Madrid’s best top three. But this aging trio started straight. They lack dynamism and pace, and they just weren’t exciting or threatening to the opponent’s defense.

Vinicius Jr. he came in as a substitute and scored in that first-league game at Alaves, and has not looked back since. The wing exploded on stage with its play which brought him a likely contract extension at the end of the season. His pace, skill with the ball and overall dynamic play have given Madrid what they have lacked over the past few seasons: attack dynamics.

Vinicius has undoubtedly filled the hole that has been in Madrid’s attack for the past few seasons. He was always dynamic. But in the last third he had a lot of trouble, routinely losing golden chances by throwing him over the crossbar or playing a bad dog.

WITH 14 goals and 12 assists in the league so far, it can be said with certainty that he overcame those fights. Vinicius was one of the most productive strikers in all of Europe. In addition to being the 5th leading scorer in all La Liga so far, the partnership Vinicius made with Karim Benzema helped Benzema rise to current favorite Ballon D’or.

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by David S. Bustamante / Soccrates / Getty Images)

Vinicius Jr. Partnership with Karim Benzema

Benzema had impressive figures in the post-Ronaldo era. He scored 21, 21 and 23 goals in the 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons. After a few games until the end, Benzema is already on 26 championship goals for the 2021/22 season, which is a career record. Benzema has received tons of well-deserved praise for his historic season, and many would say he brought Real Madrid to the La Liga title. However, Vinicius’ role in improving it cannot be ignored.

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Vinicius and Benzema always seem to be on the same page. They routinely pass it back and forth, play 1-2, change positions and combine to score in almost every Madrid win this season. Vinicius deserves a lot of praise for helping Benzema rise to the Ballon d’Or level he is currently at. Benzema’s quality has always been there, but playing with Ronaldo has suppressed his goal count. When Ronaldo left, he produced more, but he didn’t have the help to reach his true potential. Now with Vinicius ’rise, we see the best version of Karim Benzema we’ve ever had.

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