Teenage star lands $69 million Real deal
FOOTBALL: Brazilian sensation Vinicius Junior has just become the most expensive teenager in football.
The 16-year-old's decision to sign with Real Madrid was confirmed by the club on Wednesday - reportedly as part of a record $69 million transfer from his Brazilian club Flamengo.
He has become the hottest prodigy in the football world with just two senior games to his name.
According to reports, the Spanish champions agreed to pay the record price before Vinicius had even made his senior debut.
Real Madrid have agreed to pay the price despite the fact the kid named 'The next Neyma' will not be able to switch clubs until he turns 18-years-old on July 12, 2018.
According to reports the goal-scoring forward may even stay in Brazil for another two years.
Flamengo have a clause in the contract which will allow the club to hold onto its rising star unless an agreement is reached with Real Madrid to allow him to leave next year.
Despite this, Real Madrid rushed into the deal with Flamengo because they were not the only European giant chasing the Rio de Janeiro product's signature.
They had been scouting him for the past five years- going back to when Vinicius was just 11 years old -and they were not going to miss out this time the way they missed out on Neymar to bitter rivals Barcelona.
Manchester United were reportedly in the hunt early and Barcelona were in the fight right up until the end.
Details of the transfer fee were not released by either club but Brazilian media said the move is worth about $69 million which would make him the most expensive Brazilian signing since Neymar joined Barcelona in 2013.
Neymar's transfer is the subject of a court case, with Barcelona saying that the fee was $85.5 million.
Vinicius Junior's transfer fee smashes the previous record for a teenage transfer set by Manchester United star Anthony Martial in 2015 when the former Monaco talent moved to the English Premier League on a reported $62 million transfer fee.
Incredibly, the Vinicius Junior deal with Real Madrid may even be richer than first reported.
There is speculation the deal also includes payments of $14 million to the teen star and a further $14 million to his representatives.
Of course his senior debut helped drive up the cost, but it was already at record levels after his freakish heroics for Brazil in the U17's South American championship where he was the top goal-scorer in the tournament with seven goals and was awarded the best player of the event.
In 22 appearances for the Brazilian U17 team, Vinicius scored 19 goals.
His form continued to improve for the Flamengo junior team and he eventually earned his first senior game two weeks ago - coming off the bench to wild applause.
He got 10 minutes on the pitch and he was given a further 10 minutes at senior level last weekend in his team's 3-0 win over Atletico Goianiense.
Just six years ago he joined Flamengo to play U10s football.
It is difficult to play down the hype, but those close to him are trying to remind fans that Vinicius Junior remains a teenager.
"He's a promise but we shouldn't go overboard," Vinicius Junior's U17 coach Carlos Amadeu said recently.
"He's a good kid but he has a lot of mistakes to make and I just hope people are patient with him. If he stays focused despite all the glamour surrounding him, he can get to a really high level."