Real Madrid: Vinicius Jr can be football's next global superstar after more Champions League final heroics

In the post-Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi era we now live in, there is a void for players to step into and become football’s next global superstar.

On the basis of this season, and this Champions League final, Vinicius Jr is ready to answer that call.

The Brazilian scored the second goal here at Wembley as Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund to be crowned European champions for a 15th time.

There was a sense of inevitability about that happening, even when Dortmund had much of the running in the first half and the better chances, because, quite simply, this is just what Real Madrid do. When the big moments come, they find a way to get over the line.

The same goes for Vinicius, who after scoring the winner in the Champions League final two years ago, helped himself to another here.

It was not the winner but it was the goal that killed this match and it was all the more impressive given for the first hour of this game the Brazilian found himself shackled by the excellent Julian Ryerson.

As the game wore on, though, space began to open up for Vinicius and he was key in helping the momentum shift Madrid’s way.

One bit of skill from him was so outrageous (he nutmegged Ryerson with a Cruyff turn on the touchline) that Vinicius couldn’t help break out into a smile.

That grin got even big seconds later, when Dani Carvajal headed home the resulting corner to put Madrid 1-0 up.

At that point, Dortmund had to go for it and that just played into his hands. A horrible pass by Ian Maatsen allowed Jude Bellingham to pick out his team-mate and Vinicius made no mistake.

It was a painful lesson for Dortmund in the need to be ruthless. Their forwards had wasted two or three good chances long before that. Vinicius needed just one to kill this game.

The 23-year-old delivered when it mattered most and that has been a theme of his career so far. He has now been directly involved in 22 goals in the knockout stages of the Champions League (11 goals, 11 assists) - which is the joint-most by any player before turning 24, along with Messi.

The Brazilian has a long way to go emulate Messi, or for that matter Ronaldo, but he is showing in the early part of his career how he is the man for the big occasion. He already has two Champions League medals to his name, plus three LaLiga titles. At 23, he could and should add plenty more.

As if that isn’t frightening enough, the prospect of Vinicius lining up alongside Kylian Mbappe next season surely is.

After leaving Paris Saint-Germain, the Frenchman is expected to join Real Madrid and his partnership with Vinicius promises to be a lethal one.

Mbappe, however, should not expect to have everything his own way. As Vinicius has shown time and time again, he is star in his own right.