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Is Real Madrid’s Brazilian Obsession Actually Paying Off?

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:40 PM
Simon Fletcher
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:40 PM
  • The signing of 17-year-old Reinier is a coup but comes with no guarantees.
  • Not since Ronaldo “El fenomeno” has a Brazilian forward enjoyed real success at Madrid.
  • Will Reinier succeed or is he bound to be another bust like Robinho or Kaka?

The signing of Reinier Jesus is Real Madrid’s latest attempt to unearth the next Brazillian superstar, but this is a path we’ve seen the club take before, and not often with a great deal of success.

The news that Real Madrid is set to beat the likes of PSG, Manchester City, and crosstown rivals Athletico Madrid to the signing of Reinier Jesus has been met with subdued fanfare in the Spanish press. After a number of high-profile misses, the locals seem to be getting a little bit wary about shouting too loudly about their new toys.

This season has already seen Rodrygo leapfrog his compatriot and last big signing, Vinicius Jr, in the pecking order at the club. And the acclimatization problems  that Vinicius has had so far in the Spanish capital are certainly not new when it comes to big-name Brazilians trying to find their feet in Real Madrid.

Struggling to Fill a Legend’s Boots

Before Cristiano Ronaldo, there was the original Ronaldo . He was such a gifted freak of nature that he was often referred to as El fenomeno. His career saw him win everything in the game and he rounded out the best days of it playing in Real Madrid’s original “Los Galacticos” alongside players such as Raul, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Roberto Carlos.

The problem for Madrid is that since El fenomeno left, no other Brazilian has even come close to hitting the same heights.

Real Madrid’s Robinho Regret

The player whom Madrid felt was destined to take up the throne of Ronaldo was a skinny little kid called Robinho . His arrival was meant to signal a new wave of dominance for Madrid in Spain and in Europe.

The reality was that after a brilliant start, Robinho never lived up to expectations. Whether it was due to a carousel of new managers or poor attitude on his part, the next best thing was sold to Manchester City after just three seasons with Los Blancos.

Kaka a Ghost of His Former Self

After failing to turn the potential of Robinho into real stardust, Real turned to the finished article. Kaka was a Ballon d’Or who had won it all with Milan, but his time in Spain was nothing short of a disaster.

Injuries ravaged his ability to perform on what should have been his biggest stage and after four disappointing seasons, he was out of the door.

The New Kids on the Block

Since famously missing out on the signing of bona fide superstar Neymar to bitter rivals Barcelona , Madrid has not stopped looking for the next Brazilian superstar.

Vinicius Jr was brought in as exactly that player, but so far he is the new Robinho rather than the next Ronaldo. Said by some to be overly emotional, the fearless player who dazzled at Flamengo in his homeland has rarely been seen at the Bernabeu.

The jury is still out on whether Vinicius can become the player Madrid hope he will, but it seems they have already put a new security blanket in place with the much lower-key signing of this new Brazilian teenager.

Time will tell whether Vinicius, Rodrygo, and Reinier will one day conquer all together in Spain. For now, the wait goes on for the true heir to El Fenomoeno to be crowned.