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Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior: Lionel Messi 'doesn't scare us'

Alejandro Moreno examines Barcelona's reliance on Lionel Messi after he scored his 50th career hat trick in a win at Sevilla.
A VAR-awarded penalty in the first half and another penalty shrouded by controversy in the second half saw Real Madrid take all three points at Levante.
Following last week's shock defeat to Girona, Real Madrid travel to Levante in search of an essential three points.

Real Madrid starlet Vinicius Junior heaped praise on "incredible" Lionel Messi ahead of the first of two straight Clasicos this week but cautioned that Los Blancos will not fear the five-time Ballon d'Or winner once the matches begin.

Messi came off the bench in the two rivals' 1-1 Copa del Rey semifinal first-leg draw at the Camp Nou on Feb. 6 but is poised to feature prominently in Wednesday's return leg and again in their La Liga clash at the weekend.

However, the rising Vinicius, who signed with Real for €45 million in 2017, clarified on Monday that Santiago Solari's side doesn't fear the prospect of facing the Argentine superstar.

"Messi is incredible, and does things few players are capable of doing, but he doesn't scare us," the 18-year-old said on his Twitter account, hinting that he'd been misquoted following Sunday's 2-1 victory over Levante.

"We are ready for anything that comes. We have the best players in the world also."

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