Man City take on Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final at the Etihad tonight.
Not only will the winner be heavy favourites to lift the famous trophy, the result will have a significant impact on Dream Team’s landscape.
If Pep Guardiola’s side book their place in Istanbul then that fixture will conclude the 2022/23 campaign and with City already having qualified for the FA Cup final, it’s clear gaffers should back them to the hilt in the coming weeks.
The biggest threat to City’s quest for European glory is the man who scored a brilliant goal against them at the Bernabeu, Vinicius Junior.
The fleet-footed winger has cemented his status as one of the world’s best players this season and in true Real Madrid fashion he’s generally saved his absolute best form for the Champions League.
Here at Dream Team HQ, we thought it would be fun to figure out how many Dream Team points Vinicius would have earned in 2022/23 had he been eligible.
Our ratings providers WhoScored also keep track of events in Spain via their stats-based algorithm and so we can use their data to generate a near-perfect estimate.
The Brazilian has scored ten goals in La Liga, seven in the Champions League, and three in the Copa del Rey for a total of 20, so that’s 100 points straight off the bat.
Next up we need to factor in his assists, which includes converted penalties won for the purposes of this exercise.
Vinicius has provided ten assists in the league, five in Europe, and four in the cup – 19 in all competitions results in a further 38 points.
Dream Team gaffers will know that an assist all but guarantees a player a 7+ match rating and the 22-year-old’s dazzling dribbling will also have earned him plenty of bonus points – any regular viewers of Los Blancos will know the level of persistent threat he provides.
Vinicius would have earned 35 ratings of 7+ so far this season for an additional 105 points – only Bruno Fernandes (£6.7m) has earned more points from match ratings (123) in reality.
Here’s where things get really interesting, WhoScored’s stats give us an estimate of ten Star Man awards in all competitions, the exact same number Fernandes has at the top of the metric – adding another 50 points to the Brazil international’s hypothetical total.
Before we arrive at our final total we have to deduct points for any yellow/red cards.
Vinicius hasn’t been sent off this term but he’s received a whopping 16 bookings, more cards than any eligible Dream Team asset has been shown.
Taking every element into account, Real Madrid’s No20 would banked 277 Dream Team points this season!
To put that into context, he’d be third in the overall rankings, just ahead of Mohamed Salah (£9.1m) and Harry Kane (£9.5m) but trailing Marcus Rashford (£7.2m) and a long way behind runaway leader Erling Haaland (£10.4m), whose total of 427 points continues to astound.
Perhaps one day in the future, Dream Team bosses will be able to select Vinicius Junior for real…