Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr is peerless when it comes to inflicting damage on opponents, his manager Carlo Ancelotti said after the Brazilian scored twice in a spectacular 5-2 comeback win at Liverpool on Tuesday.
Liverpool had raced into a 2-0 lead at Anfield, but a double from Vinicius levelled the match before the break and laid the foundation for a thumping Champions League, last-16 first leg win.
“Vinicius is the most decisive player in world football today,” Ancelotti told a news conference.
“There is no player with this continuity of action. He doesn’t stop and keeps going. I hope he can continue like this.” Vinicius has become arguably his team’s most important player after crowning his breakout season by scoring the goal that won Real Madrid a record-extending 14th European Cup title with a 1-0 win over Liverpool last year.
He is the player with most goal attempts (28) and shots on target (15) in the Champions League this season and is the most fouled player in Europe’s top five leagues (82).
Vinicius scored twice in three attempts against Liverpool on Tuesday and - at only 22 - is already the second highest scorer against the English team in the Champions League with five goals, one behind Karim Benzema, and ahead of Didier Drogba (four) and Frank Lampard (three).
After Liverpool went 2-0 ahead, Vinicius hit back with a sublime strike and doubled his tally with a fluke second after Liverpool keeper Alisson hit the ball straight at him.
“Vinicius was brilliant as always,” Ancelotti said.
“It was an historic win, mostly because if you consider where we played and how we started the game, falling two goals behind.
“But we never backed down and kept our cool, not panicked and we turned around a very difficult game.” After scoring 22 goals with 20 assists last season, Vinicius has already scored 18 in all competitions this campaign and was named player of the tournament at the Club World Cup in January, helping Real to secure a record-extending fifth title.