Vinicius Junior will be one of the leading candidates for the Ballon d’Or in 2023, according to Rivaldo.
Brazilian international Vinicius was a key part of Real Madrid’s Liga and UEFA Champions League winners 2021-22, scoring one goal in the match as Los Blancos beat Liverpool in the European final.
The 21-year-old scored 22 goals and gave 16 assists – more than he has ever achieved in the last three campaigns combined – in 52 games in all competitions. Only Kylian Mbappe (60), Karim Benzema (59), Christopher Nkunku (51), and Mohamed Salah (46) participated in the most goals in all competitions among the top five European league players.
Benzema is a favorite of the 2022 Ballon d’Or, which will be awarded in October, but former World Cup-winning striker Rivaldo believes next year could be Vinicius’ turn.
“After a good season with Real Madrid, where he scored the winning goal of the Champions League, I can hope that this young Brazilian striker will continue to improve in this way,” Rivaldo told Betfair.
“He has improved a lot in front of goal and if he continues like this he will be a Real Madrid star, because Karim Benzema will retire one day.
“It’s hard to say [Ballon d’Or] favorites before the season starts, but I don’t see it left behind by Kylian Mbappe, Kevin De Bruyne and others.
“The trophies that each team will receive will be very important in the final selection.”