Vinicius Junior has boldly declared that Lionel Messi does not scare Real Madrid, with the Blancos preparing for back-to-back Clasico clashes with Barcelona and their talismanic skipper.
The first of those fixtures is set to be staged on Wednesday, as Santiago Bernabeu plays host to the second leg of a Copa del Rey semi-final.
That contest, which is currently locked at 1-1, will be followed on Saturday by another derby duel in the Spanish capital.
Madrid head into those outings short of their best, but the same could be said of Barca.
Vinicius insists the Blancos, who edged out Levante in their most recent outing to remain nine points adrift of their arch-rivals in the Liga title race , are ready for the challenges to come.
He told reporters: “We’re ready for El Clasico.
“There’s two in one week and we know all football fans look forward to them.
“I can’t wait to play in it, it’s a very important match. Every player would love to be involved in a Clasico!”
The Brazilian youngster added: “Messi is always there. He’s an incredible player but we aren’t scared of anybody.
“We’re ready and have the best players in the world.”