Karim Benzema’s win in the Ballon d’Or has drawn plaudits from Neymar, but the Brazil star is more aggrieved by another player’s finish.
Neymar hailed the “deserved” choice of Karim Benzema as Ballon d’Or winner, after the Real Madrid star claimed the prestigious honour for the first time on Monday.
But the Paris Saint-Germain forward criticized Benzema’s Madrid team-mate Vinicius Junior’s eighth-place finish, with the Brazil international saying his Selecao star should have finished in the top three at the very least.
Benzema was crowned the 2021-22 World Player of the Year at a ceremony earlier this week, replacing Neymar’s PSG club-mate Lionel Messi, while beating Bayern Munich’s Sadio Mane to the top spot.
It comes after a campaign in which he led Carlo Ancelotti’s side to LaLiga and Champions League success, scoring 44 goals and providing 15 assists.
Neymar, who was not nominated this year, celebrated Benzema’s win on social media a day after the presentation but added that Vinicius, another key star for Madrid last term, deserved more recognition.
“Benzema deserved it – it’s him!” the attacker wrote on Twitter. “And now for Vini Jr to be the eighth – that’s not possible! At least three!”
After arguably the toughest domestic season of his career so far last term, Neymar looks set to return to his best this season, with nine goals and seven assists in Ligue 1 so far.
Benzema, meanwhile, has struggled with fitness, limiting the 34-year-old to just four goals and one assist in LaLiga.