Football news - Lionel Messi doesn't scare us, says Real Madrid wonderkid Vinicius Junior
Vinicius Junior has given a glowing reference of Lionel Messi but says he is not scared of the Barcelona talisman ahead of El Clasico this week.
Real Madrid face Barcelona in the second leg of their Copa del Rey tie on Wednesday, and while Vinicius is only too aware of the threat coming from all directions, he is not approaching the encounter with any fear.
Messi scored the 50th hat-trick of his Barcelona career at the weekend as Sevilla were beaten 4-2 in Andalusia - a result which tightens their grip on top spot in La Liga.
Ernesto Valverde's side can still win the treble this season, and with second-placed Atletico Madrid seven points adrift, the Copa del Rey will be their sole focus this week.
Madrid drew 1-1 with Barcelona in the first leg of their semi-final clash earlier this month, and Vinicius expects Messi to play a prominent role in the decider at the Santiago Bernabeu having started on the bench in the first encounter.
Lionel Messi scored his 50th career hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-2 win at SevillaPA Sport
The 18-year-old wrote on his Twitter account: "Messi is incredible, and does things few players are capable of doing, but he doesn't scare us.
"We are ready for anything that comes. We have the best players in the world also."
Vinicius has come to the fore this season under Santiago Solari, becoming an integral part of the side following the departure of Julen Lopetegui.
The Brazilian has made 25 appearances and scored four times during his first season in Madrid after completing his €45million (£39.6m) switch from Flamengo last summer.