By 90Min
January 28, 2019

Vinicius Junior does not feel that he has yet established himself as a member of Real Madrid's first choice lineup, despite playing from the start for the seventh consecutive match on Sunday.

In the injury-induced absence of Gareth Bale, Vinicius has started all but one of Real Madrid's games in 2019, four in La Liga and three in the Copa del Rey.

This included Sunday's 4-2 win at Espanyol, but he was replaced in the 64th minute by the returning Bale, who scored Real's fourth goal within three minutes of coming on.

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If Bale is fit, Vinicius is likely to return to the bench, but he insists that he will accept that decision and does not consider himself a starter, telling reporters (via Marca): "No, I just arrived not long ago.

"I am playing more and I'm happy. I want Real Madrid to win and whoever is the best player will play.

"The coach tells me to show personality and to play well. He's told me that ever since I arrived. The group helps me a lot and I'm content."

Real Madrid have won five of their last six matches, consolidating their place in the top four and taking a big step towards the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Soccrates Images/GettyImages

"We've started 2019 very well," Vinicius added. "We played well once again and now we're getting players like [Gareth] Bale and [Marco] Asensio back.

"The group is getting better and we'll keep trying to win every game and to go into the Champions League in the best possible form."

Real Madrid have three more fixtures before they resume their pursuit of a fourth consecutive Champions League title. They face Ajax in the last 16, with the first leg on 13 February.

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