Rivaldo Exclusive: Real Madrid being unfair on Vinicius Junior
Rivaldo looks ahead to the biggest La Liga match of the weekend as Atletico Madrid host Barcelona and delivers his verdict on the futures of Ousmane Dembélé, Christian Eriksen and Vinicius Jr...
"I mentioned many times before that he was good enough to play regularly for Real Madrid, but the club wasn't thinking that way so why not release him now for international duty?"
Real Madrid need to make their mind up
I always said that Vinicius Junior has been ready to play for the first team since the start of the season, but Real Madrid preferred him playing for Castilla - in the third division - for a few months. So I don't understand why they are considering if he should, or shouldn't, go to the U20 South American Championship.
If he needs experience, then they should let him play in that competition, or is he now an important member of the team? I mentioned many times before that he was good enough to play regularly for Real Madrid, but the club wasn't thinking that way so why not release him now for international duty?
In my opinion, they won't probably let him go as the wonder kid is now playing a bit more and is starting to prove his value.
Dembélé forcing his way out
Given his recent behaviour, I believe Ousmane Dembélé doesn't want to stay at Barcelona - it seems like he is forcing a move away from the club.
Barca must be careful in dealing with this situation - avoiding sanctions or suspensions - because it can impact the transfer value and he was very expensive in the first place.
Barcelona should keep calm and figure out a way to get him playing again so they can sell him for a reasonable price and not a bargain.
Christian Eriksen could replace Modric at Madrid
Christian Eriksen - linked with a move in reports this week - is a very talented midfielder who could clearly get a place at Real Madrid and even replace Luka Modric if needed.
He has a clever approach in the final third and he helps the team attack which has proven to be crucial for Tottenham. This would especially be good for a Real Madrid team which has struggled offensively since Ronaldo's departure.
A good attacking midfielder must be more than a skilful passer or playmaker, he should also be a threat in front of goal and score a good number of goals, which Eriksen has done in previous seasons.
Atleti to overcome Barca
In their match against Atletico Madrid on Saturday night (available to watch on Betfair Live Video), Barcelona could face a tough task. Atletico are playing well in La Liga and will certainly create many problems for the Catalans.
But Barcelona must believe in themselves - playing with style no matter where they play - if they want to win the match. They will encounter difficulties against such an organised team such as Atletico, especially as the Madrid side are looking for a win to jump to the top of the table.
I have to follow my head over my heart for this reason and predict a 2-1 victory for Diego Simeone's team.