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Real Madrid's Vinícius Júnior on personal growth, tips from Ronaldo and UEFA Champions League final – interview

"I do everything possible to improve," says Vinícius Júnior as he tells UEFA.com about his burning ambition to win more UEFA Champions League titles.

Vinícius Júnior hungry for more

At the age of just 23, Real Madrid star Vinícius Júnior has already achieved an enormous amount in his relatively short career. The Brazilian has won three Spanish La Liga titles and a UEFA Super Cup, but most memorably scored the crucial goal which fired his side to UEFA Champions League glory in 2022, a 1-0 final win against Liverpool.

Champions League final build-up

The Madrid forward now has the chance to pick up another winners' medal against Dortmund in this season's showpiece at Wembley on June 1, but speaking to UEFA.com, Vinícius Júnior explained why even another victory would not be enough to satisfy his burning ambition.

Vinícius Júnior on his semi-final strike in Munich

On desire to improve

I've always had it, but after I arrived here with great players, with Real Madrid legends who never stop improving in every training session and always want to win, that started to rub off on me. Today, I do everything possible to improve. I learn a lot from all the more experienced players in the squad because they've been through much more than I have. I always tell them that I prefer to listen to them than to speak because it will be better for my development.

It's not just important on the pitch, it's also important off it. In the very near future, I can do what all these players, like Luka [Modrić], Toni [Kroos], Karim [Benzema] when he was here, have done for me. They passed on their calmness, their experience, to me and I can pass it on to the younger players who are coming into the squad.

Vinícius Júnior: 'We never give up'

On coach Carlo Ancelotti's influence

He's done everything for me. He's always given me confidence, told me off when I needed it, and we've developed a very good relationship. He cares about me as much as I care about him.

He's changed me as a player, not on the pitch, but in the way I think about training and development. He always says that my humility is my biggest virtue because I always listen to the others. Whenever I score a goal in a match, I always want my team-mates to score too, so they can be in a better position. I'm not driven by vanity, for playing with the best players, the big stars. Every day he teaches me more and more on and off the pitch.

Real Madrid's road to the final: Every goal

On wanting more Champions League success

It's very exciting to represent this club, one that is driven by this competition. I'm happy to be able to get on the pitch wearing this shirt, have great results and to have scored in the 2022 final, but I want much more. Obviously we need to think about the next final, always focus on the next game. But after this final, I want to win another one, and another. We must be ready for this game, we must prepare ourselves very well for such an important moment that will crown a brilliant season.

Real Madrid's 14 European Cup wins

On inspirations off the pitch

There's Pelé, Kobe [Bryant], Ronaldo [Nazário], [Michael] Jordan, LeBron [James] and Cristiano [Ronaldo]. I took a bit from every generation of my favourite sports. Pelé is our king.

Ronaldo was a star for Brazil and played for Real Madrid as well. He teaches me a great deal and calls me whenever he can to give me some tips. Ever since he told me his best ability was in one-on-ones with the keeper, I started to think about it and improved a lot after that conversation I had with him. Now, every time I have a one-on-one, I'm as calm as I can be.

Watch Vinícius Júnior's round of 16 strike

On his charity work

I didn't have much as a child. Other people, other players, tried to help me, and they made me believe that everything was possible. I always thank football for giving me the chance to do great things for people in my hometown. I make them happy, of course, but I want to give them the chance to have a better education, to see a light at the end of the tunnel, because things are tough there, and we don't always have opportunities the way I had. I want to give them the same opportunities so that every kid can choose what they want to be in the future.