New Tottenham striker Vinicius dubs himself V95, idolises Ronaldo, and is a 'five-star human being' says ex-coach

IT'S been a long time coming for Carlos Vinicius.

The Brazilian striker, 25, has finally hit the big time – signing for Premier League giants Tottenham on an initial loan, with a view to a £41million transfer.

It caps off a wonderful few years for the target man, who calls himself 'V95' because he idolises Cristiano 'CR7' Ronaldo, and almost quit the game at 22.

Vinicius played at youth level with Man City star Gabriel Jesus and Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa, but didn't quite hit the heady heights as his compatriots.

A journeyman with Santos, Napoli and Monaco, he exploded onto the scene with Rio Ave in Portugal before excelling last season with Benfica to win the Primeira Liga's Golden Boot.

Here's the story that's brought him to North London.


Vinicius youth career took in Brazil's most famous clubs, including Santos and Palmeiras.

But he failed to establish himself at either, with competition in the striking positions fierce with the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Barbosa being preferred talents.

Vinicius shared the dressing room with 'Gabigol' Barbosa at Santos, playing in the clubs' U17 and U20 teams.

They also won the U20 World Cup with Brazil together in 2013.

“We had a very good relationship, of great friendship”.

At Palmeiras, Vinicius saw the rise of Jesus… the Manchester City one.

It gave him the inspiration that young players can succeed if they train hard enough.

Vinicius said: "We started to see our idols up close, and we started to believe that it is possible to get there, with work and perseverance".


At 22, frustrated with his lack of progress in the game and married with a child, Vinicius considered jacking his football career in.

He was playing for lowly Gremio Anapolis, who were in the second division of the Campeonato Goiano -a local state championship where the standard was semi-pro at best.

There, a chance encounter with Real Sport Clube director Luis Neves changed his life forever.

Neves was in Brazil to check out another player in the Goiano Championship, but was wowed by Vinicius.

He declared he had to take his discovery to the Portuguese second division, where assistant coach Bruno Carvalho found out a startling revelation.

"When he was here, he revealed to me that he had prepared everything with this wife to give up football after that championship," Carvalho told Maisfutebol.


Former Real SC boss Filipe Martins was his first manager in Portugal, and helped Vinicius realise his potential.

He scored 20 goals in 39 matches under the watchful eye of Martins, who outlined his frontman's strengths and weaknesses.

Martins declared: “He plays very well with his left foot, he's strong with his head. He has difficulties playing in small spaces, with his back to the goal, however there is a lot of room for progression.

"He will continue to progress and become a reference player.”

Martins was also full of praise for Vinicius's character.

“He is a five-star human being, with great maturity, always fun and a good colleague”.


For commercial footballers tend to opt for an acronym to call themselves by.

And Vinicius goes with V95 – in tribute to his idol Ronaldo, as well as his squad number 95 that was chosen because he was born in 1995.

Amusingly, a quick search on Google reveals V95 is also the name of a penis enlargement cream.

But there's nothing small about the 6ft 3in star, who earned the nickname 'The Beast' in Portugal.

He admires Ronaldinho. “I like to watch his videos. He had a brilliant career, he is a reference for all Brazilians, a player who broke many barriers," Vinicius revealed.

But it's Ronaldo who he feels he has similar traits with.

He said: "Ronaldo's explosiveness, the way he looked for the one-to-one and went over his opponents is something I see myself in."


After kicking on with Real SC, Napoli took a punt on Vinicius – signing him for £3.5million in 2018.

But he never played a competitive game, despite impressing in his first preseason and scoring in a friendly against Carpi.

He was loaned to Portuguese side Rio Ave that season – scoring 12 goals in 19 games.

Another loan to Monaco the following season saw Vinicius play back-up to Radamel Falcao in a side that just managed to avoid relegation from Ligue 1.

In 2019, flush with £113million in their coffers from the sale Joao Felix, Benfica rescued Vinicius from his Italian nightmare in a £17million deal.

He scored on his debut against Pacos de Ferreira, and continued to frighten defences all over the country with his power and pace.

Vinicius finished last season's campaign as top goalscorer in the Portuguese top flight with 18 goals.

His form alerted the attention of Wolves, who were said to be interested in signing the player represented by super agent Jorge Mendes back in January.

However, it's Tottenham who have got their first and secured competition for Harry Kane.

Vinicius could make his debut at the Theatre of Dreams, where Spurs play Manchester United next.

What a fitting place to start his next chapter.

Source: Read Full Article