The Diet and Training that Changed Vinicius and Real Madrid's Lives

Vinícius Júnior has significantly improved his potential and goalscoring rate with Real Madrid thanks to changes in training and diet. Learn his secret here.
The Diet and Training that Changed Vinicius and Real Madrid's Lives

Written by Cristian Minich

Last update: 11 June, 2022

The excellent level that Vinícius Júnior is showing this season at Real Madrid has left more than one of his critics speechless. His newfound goalscoring prowess and the superiority he’s demonstrated over his markers have placed the 21-year-old among the most highly rated soccer players in the world. The changes in his diet and physical activity have paid off. Let’s take a look at the diet and training that has changed Vinícius’ life and that Real Madrid is enjoying.

Born on July 12, 2000 in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro, Vinícius José Paixão de Oliveira Júnior has become the star of La Liga, the Spanish soccer league. After a year playing with Flamengo, he quickly attracted the attention of Real Madrid, whose interest in him was sparked by his hierarchy and potential for the future.

After a year at Castilla, he began to take his first steps in the first team. However, criticism didn’t take long to arrive due to his lack of goals. But now, in addition to his dribbling, skill, and speed, the winger has added more clarity to his finishing moves and has become a good friend of the goal. After only scoring three goals in 35 games last season, he’s moved on to score ten goals in 16 appearances.

What’s his secret? Let’s take a look.

Find out about the diet and training that changed Vinícius’ life

Meals, exercise, and a good rest are essential to achieve maximum performance. Vinícius had already shown great conditions, but he hadn’t fully exploded on the field. Now, that moment seems to have arrived.

The changes in his diet and his new training plan make a big difference in a sport that demands more physical power and quick recoveries, besides technical qualities and natural skills. Let’s take a look at how the diet and training have led him to reach his peak performance.

Today’s soccer requires other issues that weren’t relevant before, such as a diet specifically designed for athletes.

A personal chef to order meals

Since his arrival in Europe, Vinícius has always been careful with meals and his diet. However, now he has a more complete and better-organized plan.

At the beginning of the year, he hired a French chef who’s responsible for providing all the nutrients necessary for the young striker to perform at the highest level. Not only does he select the food, but he also serves the dishes in a balanced way and with the right quantities.

Vinícius has always eaten a little bit of everything, but now he does it in an orderly way and with correct portions.

From the Carioca diet to the professional plan for Vinícius

In the past, Vinícius ate a diet based on black beans, rice, and steaks – a typical Brazilian meal. One of his aunts was in charge of preparing this dish rich in phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin B3.

He also used to eat a lot of pasta and chicken and fish, which today are the basis of his diet. However, this plan was recently completed and regulated with fair rations.

These are some of the foods that are never missing in the diet of the star of Madrid:

  • Ham is rich in vitamin B, iron, and zinc, providing the necessary proteins for elite athletes.
  • Cheese has a high protein content. It’s ideal for recovery after physical exertion.
  • Eggs provide protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Low-calorie yogurts provide potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Also, they help to repair tissues and prevent cramps.
  • Chicken contains key vitamins and protein to protect muscle fibers and speed recovery.
  • Fish: Among the best choices for athletes are salmon, tuna, and sardines. They provide vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium, phosphorus, and omega-three fatty acids. Also, they help prevent injuries, improve the nervous system, and promote metabolism.
  • Vegetables and pulses provide calcium, phosphorus, potassium, fiber, and mineral salts.
  • Fruit is rich in vitamin C. It provides fiber, salts, carbohydrates, and energy. Fruits such as melon or watermelon prevent dehydration, as they have high water content. However, bananas, citrus fruits, red fruits, pears, and apples are among the most chosen by athletes.

We think you might be interested in reading: The Injuries that Cristiano Ronaldo has Suffered

Thiago Lobo: a coach a la Mangriñán 

Legend has it that when the Valencia player José Mangriñán was assigned to mark Alfredo Distéfano in the 1953/54 season, his coach ordered him to follow him even to the showers. On that day, the Spaniard canceled out the Argentinian’s goal, and, according to the legend, literally fulfilled his orders after the match.

Thiago Lobo, Vinícius’ physical trainer, does something similar. So much so that he accompanied him on his holidays in Rio de Janeiro and Cancun to get him in top condition. There were beaches, of course, but also training in the sand and exercise with weights. In fact, the previous summer was key to the current explosion of the Real Madrid winger since he acquired more power, agility, and speed.

Currently, Lobo works with Vinícius every afternoon in the gym that the footballer has set up at his home. The focus is on the player’s recovery and on avoiding injuries. One of the premises of Lobo is to always work with the support of the club and be in contact with the coaching staff headed by the Italian Carlo Ancelotti.

Ejercicios en la playa.
Vinícius’ beach holiday was not for complete rest, but to take advantage of different conditions and exercise.

A healthy life and natural talent to reach the top with Real Madrid

Vinícius has always taken into account that training and a good diet are essential to reach the best level. The youngster lives in the company of several family members and friends, although in a quiet environment far from the parties and excesses that have characterized other footballers.

Vinícius’s change consisted of bringing together a group of professionals at his service to better organize his diet and plan his complementary training in the mornings with Madrid in Valdebebas.

Good nutrition and hydration, an ordered training routine complemented with daily activities, the necessary constancy and discipline, and a restful rest are some of the keys to achieve the best performance. This applies to both elite athletes and any one of us.

There are no other secrets, except for Vinícius’ natural abilities. He’s undoubtedly one of those touched by a magic wand when it comes to football.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Oliveira CC, Ferreira D, Caetano C, Granja D, Pinto R, Mendes B, Sousa M. Nutrition and Supplementation in Soccer. Sports (Basel). 2017 May 12;5(2):28. doi: 10.3390/sports5020028. PMID: 29910389; PMCID: PMC5968974. Disponible en:
  • Manzano-Carrasco S, Felipe JL, Sanchez-Sanchez J, Hernandez-Martin A, Gallardo L, Garcia-Unanue J. Physical Fitness, Body Composition, and Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet in Young Football Players: Influence of the 20 mSRT Score and Maturational Stage. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 7;17(9):3257. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17093257. PMID: 32392773; PMCID: PMC7246506. Disponible en:

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.