Vinicius Junior has backed his Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema to win the 2022 Ballon d’Or and has ruled out his own chances of victory.
Benzema is one of the favourites for this year’s award after securing La Liga and Champions League for his club this season, regularly making vital contributions in front of goal.
The Frenchman is expected to stay in the capital for at least one more season and was not expected to lose his starting role even if Kylian Mbappe had joined from Paris Saint-Germain - a move which did not materialise after months of speculation.
Zidane backs ‘simply exceptional’ Benzema to pick up Ballon d’Or
24/06/2022 AT 10:30
Vinicius believes that Benzema will now win individual recognition after a season in which he scored 44 goals.
The 21-year-old Brazilian international is also an outside contender for the award, with 22 goals and 16 assists, and his national team-mate Neymar said he hopes he wins the award, but Vinicus said: “I’m really happy that Neymar said that I should win the Ballon d’Or, but in my opinion Benzema deserves it more.”
Speaking to the press while on international duty
with Brazil, Vinicius added that he did not expect Benzema to defeat him should they meet in the 2022 Qatar World Cup, saying: “Karim also jokes with me that he wants to win against Brazil at the World Cup final, but there's no way that's going to happen.”
Brazil beat Japan in a friendly on Monday with Neymar scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.
Brazil were due to meet South American rivals Argentina in Melbourne, Austrlalia on June 11 but the game has been cancelled after Argentina reportedly refused to travel.
Rivaldo backs future ‘star of Real Madrid’ for Ballon d’Or award next year
23/06/2022 AT 09:45
'One of the great European strikers' - Vieira backs Mane for Ballon d’Or
17/06/2022 AT 10:47