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How Real Madrid sign their young stars

In February 2017, Juni Calafat and Vinicius Junior met for the first time in Rio de Janeiro and Real Madrid's chief scout was desperate to persuade the 16-year-old talent to move to the Spanish capital.

Florentino Perez had given him the job of finding the future best player in the world, and Calafat picked out Vinicius among Flamengo's youth academy and went to Rio to meet him personally.

Florentino desperately wanted to find the next Lionel Messi, a player who could develop their career from the very start at Real Madrid and build a dynasty without having to spend big on the transfer market.

Vinicius met those conditions and Calafat worked on persuading him to join, leading to a great friendship which remains to this day.

During that time, the scout travelled to Brazil more than 10 times, taking part in negotiations himself as Barcelona competed for Vinicius' signature, and also sharing details of the club's sporting plans.

He also helped the young Brazilian to prepare for a move to Spain, gifting him a signed Real Madrid shirt which Vinicius thanked him for by giving him a Flamengo shirt.

The pair took a photo that day which has great sentimental value to them both.

Teaching about Real Madrid

A Flamengo fan as a boy, many at Valdebebas comment on how Vinicius could have been born a Real Madrid fan given his knowledge and affection for the club.

When it comes to renewing his contract, there will be no doubt that Vinicius will stay, particularly as he already rejected Paris Saint-Germain's call.

Calafat has suffered when doubts were shared over Vinicius' performances, but he never lost faith and has always been supported by president Perez.

Vinicius has not forgotten that faith and has been keen to repay it to both of the men who have been at the heart of his journey at Real Madrid.

Militao and Rodygo too

Vinicius isn't the only talent captured by Calafat, as Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes, two players who have become more important this season, were also spotted by him.

The defender in particular has become one of the best in the world this season and has more than justified the 50 million euro fee paid when many at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu preferred a move for Matthijs de Ligt.

Calafat insisted on Militao, given his physical and technical quality, and time has proved him right.

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