With a name like Ronaldo Vieira, you’ve got to be good. Right? And, thankfully, Ronaldo Vieira is. Very.
We learned a few things from Leeds United’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the EFL Cup quarter-final on Tuesday. Essentially, that Garry Monk has got his side playing with a spirit, an organisation and a togetherness that has been sorely missing for as long as recent memory will abide and that, in the 18-year-old, The Whites possess one of the most exciting talents in the country.
Though the night will rightly belong to 17-year-old phenomenon Ben Woodburn, the youngest goalscorer in Liverpool’s history if you hadn’t already heard, Vieira made light of his surroundings, and the opposition, to display the fearlessness he has demonstrated since breaking into the side at the start of the season.
And, if we must focus on his two, immensely talented namesakes, then the young midfielder is certainly closer to the former Arsenal captain than the World Cup winning centre-forward.
Breaking up play frequently and offering protection to his defence in a superbly disciplined showing, you’d be forgiven for thinking this teenager was a long-serving professional with 10 years’ experience under his belt. In short, Vieira dominated a midfield battle against Lucas, Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum, three players with a combined tally of 67 international caps in their locker.
Yet, Vieira, who only made his senior debut in May, never looked out of place, not even for a second.