Why does Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior wear shirt number 20 during games?

Vinicius Junior has been recognised by fans one of the biggest young talents in world football in recent years – but what many may not know is the huge significance behind his shirt number.

The Brazilian initially rose to prominence with Flamengo by setting Brazil’s top division alight with his dazzling skills.

He utilised his explosive acceleration, supreme balance, ability on the ball and physical strength to solidify himself as one of the best prospects in world football. Unsurprisingly, other teams started to take notice.

He caught the eye of then-Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and completed the move to Spain on his 18th birthday. Real broke the bank and paid €46 million to secure his services, making him the second most expensive Brazilian in world football behind Neymar.

However, he failed to hit the ground running at the Bernabeu, although fans put that down to his age, injuries and inexperience. Sure enough, slowly but surely, he adapted to his surroundings and proved he was worth every penny.

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This season, he’s scored a hat-trick against Levante, bagged twice in a 2-1 victory over Elche and secured a first-team place over Eden Hazard. He also netted a Champions League brace against Shakhtar Donetsk.

He has a total of 21 goals and 17 assists in 51 appearances in all competitions this season. Therefore, it looks like the 21-year-old will fulfil his potential after all. But perhaps all he ever needed to improve his form was a new number.

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Why did Vinicius Junior change his shirt number?

Although the forward originally wore the number 25 shirt when he signed for Real, he later switched to having the number 20 and ‘Vini Jr’ on his back in 2020. This left fans puzzled, but he took to YouTube to clear up the confusion.

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He explained (quotes as per Real Madrid Unofficial): “Number 20 has brought me good luck. In Flamengo, I was very happy, and I made my debut wearing number 20.

“My first games in professional football were with this number, and this season I had the opportunity to change, and I feel more comfortable. About the name, now it’s easier because everyone calls me Vini anyway.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty