RIO DE JANEIRO, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid's Brazilian teenager Vinicius Junior has lavished praise on Zinedine Zidane, saying the Spanish club's coach is helping him to feel "happy" and focused on returning from an ankle injury.
"When he [Zidane] talks, you pay attention. Sometimes you can even get a bit nervous talking to him," the 18-year-old told Brazil's Globo TV in an interview aired on Sunday.
"He makes sure that you're only worried about playing football and that's what makes a player feel happy."
Vinicius has not played since tearing ankle ligaments in Real Madrid's 4-1 home loss to Ajax on March 5, a result that eliminated Los Blancos from the Champions League.
Zidane, who last month returned as Real Madrid manager just 10 months after ending his first spell in charge, said on Saturday that Vinicius is on track to return to the first team before the end of the season.
The former Flamengo forward revealed that he faces a psychological hurdle as he attempts to regain his place in Real Madrid's starting lineup and earn a berth in Brazil's Copa America squad.
"When you come back from injury, you are a bit scared, but I'm preparing as best as I can to play the last matches of the season, and if possible, be called up for [Brazil's] national team. I would be very happy to be named in the squad but if that doesn't happen I will always support the team and hope that Brazil can win," he said.
Real Madrid have seven matches remaining in the current La Liga season, which ends on May 19. The Copa America will be played in Brazil from June 14 to July 7.