Vinicius Junior set for return as Real Madrid eye 2024 trophy haul

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior has declared himself fit for action following a resilient recovery from a thigh muscle injury sustained during a World Cup qualifier against Colombia in November.

The 23-year-old Brazilian had been sidelined for Madrid’s last seven games of 2023 due to the left thigh tear, casting uncertainty over his return until February. However, Vinicius has defied expectations, stating, “I’m fine now and ready to go. What remains of the season… I ask that in 2024 we can win many titles,” in an interview with Real Madrid TV.

With La Liga resuming after the winter break, Vinicius’s return injects renewed vigour into the squad as they gear up to face Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday evening.

The forward, known for his flair and goal-scoring prowess, is eager to contribute to the team’s success under the guidance of manager Carlo Ancelotti, who will determine the timing of Vinicius’s return to the starting XI.

Madrid face a packed schedule in the coming weeks, including a Copa del Rey clash against Arandina, participation in the Supercopa de Espana in Saudi Arabia, and crucial La Liga encounters against Almeria and Las Palmas. Vinicius’s availability adds another dimension to Madrid’s attacking options, complementing the consistent goal-scoring prowess of players like Jude Bellingham.

Despite Vinicius’s absence, Madrid maintained their winning momentum, securing victories in six of the seven games without the Brazilian forward. The team concluded the calendar year atop La Liga on goal-difference, securing a spot in the Champions League last 16.

While Jude Bellingham continued to impress with his goal-scoring contributions, Madrid showcased a collaborative effort in finding the back of the net, with players like Rodrygo, Joselu, Dani Ceballos, and Brahim Diaz stepping up in Vinicius’s absence.

As the football world eagerly anticipates Vinicius Junior’s return, Real Madrid aim to kick off 2024 on a triumphant note, eyeing multiple titles across various competitions. The electrifying forward’s availability adds depth to the squad, setting the stage for an exciting and competitive phase in the remainder of the season.