Vinicius Jr. has come out bullishly ahead of a crucial week in Real Madrid's season, which sees them face Barcelona not once, but twice in the Copa del Rey and La Liga.
The Brazilian teenager insisted that he and his Real teammates aren't scared of Lionel Messi, despite the Argentine's clear status as the best player in Spain and his track record of influencing Clasicos, and told reporters (via Sport) that he can't wait to play in Spain's biggest game.
Vinicius was left out of Real's matchday squad for the first league Clasico of the season back in October, a 5-1 humiliation at Camp Nou which saw Julen Lopetegui's reign of error end in ignominy.
Speaking after Real squeaked past Levante on the weekend, the young forward said: "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!"
Real's summer arrival has been growing in stature at the Bernabeu since Santiago Solari's appointment as Lopetegui's replacement, starting a long string of games on the left-hand side – including the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Barça, where he showed flashes of potential in a 1-1 draw.
Messi missed that first leg at Camp Nou but is back to fitness after a layoff – scoring an incredible hat-trick against Sevilla on the weekend – but Vinicius insisted that he is unfazed by the Argentine, saying: "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."