Vinicius can challenge Mbappe and De Bruyne for 2023 Ballon d'Or, says Rivaldo

By Sports Desk June 22, 2022

Vinicius Junior will be one of the leading candidates for the Ballon d'Or in 2023, according to Rivaldo. 

Brazil international Vinicius was a key part of the Real Madrid side that won LaLiga and the Champions League in 2021-22, scoring the only goal of the game as Los Blancos beat Liverpool in the European final. 

The 21-year-old scored 22 goals and supplied 16 assists – more than he managed across the previous three campaigns combined – in 52 games in all competitions. Only Kylian Mbappe (60), Karim Benzema (59), Christopher Nkunku (51) and Mohamed Salah (46) were involved in more goals in all competitions among players in the top five European leagues. 

Benzema is the favourite for the 2022 Ballon d'Or, which will be awarded in October, but World Cup-winning former attacker Rivaldo believes next year could be Vinicius' time. 

"After a fantastic season with Real Madrid, in which he scored the goal that won the Champions League, I can only hope the young Brazilian attacker continues to develop in this way," Rivaldo told Betfair. 

"He has improved a lot in front of goal and if he continues like this he can claim to be the star of Real Madrid, because Karim Benzema will retire one day. 

"It's hard to name favourites [for the Ballon d'Or] when the season hasn't started, but I don't seem him behind Kylian Mbappe, Kevin De Bruyne and others. 

"The titles that each club wins will be very important in the final choice." 

Related items

  • 'We would like to extend his stay here' – Leicester boss Rodgers hopeful over Vardy deal 'We would like to extend his stay here' – Leicester boss Rodgers hopeful over Vardy deal

    Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed on Thursday that the club is working on a contract extension for 35-year-old Foxes icon Jamie Vardy.

    Vardy arrived at Leicester back in 2012 and has since racked up 164 goals in 386 appearances for the club. Only Arthur Chandler (273 goals), who played from 1923-35, and Arthur Rowley (251 goals from 1950-58) have scored more for Leicester.

    The former England striker has now registered seven consecutive Premier League seasons with at least 13 goals.

    Vardy is in the final year of his contract, but Foxes boss Rodgers is optimistic he will sign another deal.

    "[Vardy's] appetite is still there," he said. "We would like to extend his stay here and that's something the club and his representatives will look at.

    "Jamie thrives on balls into space behind the defence, and if there is no space, he thrives on low crosses into the box. It is as simple as that. If we can do that more, there will be opportunities for him and other players."

    Vardy, who missed nearly four months last season with hamstring and knee injuries, will turn 36 in January.

  • Kostic expresses gratitude to Eintracht ahead of Juventus move Kostic expresses gratitude to Eintracht ahead of Juventus move

    Filip Kostic has expressed his gratitude to Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of his move to Juventus.

    The Serbia winger is on the verge of completing his switch to Juve, ending a four-year spell with Eintracht.

    Kostic helped the Bundesliga club win the Europa League last season and has played more games (167) and started more matches (161) than any other player for the club since his arrival from Hamburg.

    The 29-year-old says Eintracht will always have a special place in his heart.

    "THANK YOU Eintracht Frankfurt for believing in me when no one else did!" he posted on Instagram.

    "I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the club, all the wonderful people who work at the club, the team-mates, the coaches, the management, the fans and the whole city for making my stay at the club and in the city unforgettable.

    "Eintracht fans, thank you for supporting us every game. We bled together for the colours of the club, you in the stands and us on the field.

    "Together we managed to write club history by winning the Europa League. Thank you for all the love and support you have given me.

    "We wouldn't have made it without you. I will carry you in my heart forever."

     

  • PSG striker Kalimuendo joins Rennes for €25m after being linked with Leeds United transfer PSG striker Kalimuendo joins Rennes for €25m after being linked with Leeds United transfer

    Paris Saint-Germain striker Arnaud Kalimuendo has joined Rennes in a reported €25million transfer, penning a five-year deal with the Ligue 1 side.

    Kalimuendo, a France Under-21 international who signed his first professional contract with PSG as a 17-year-old in 2019, had been strongly linked with Premier League side Leeds United after they missed out on Belgian forward Charles De Ketelaere to Milan.

    The pacey forward has spent each of the last two seasons on loan at Lens, scoring 12 league goals in the 2021-22 campaign as they recorded an impressive seventh-placed finish.

    Only nine players, including PSG stars Kylian Mbappe (28) and Neymar (13), outscored Kalimuendo last term, earning the 20-year-old a big-money move to Europa League qualifiers Rennes.

    PSG boss Christophe Galtier had confirmed Kalimuendo's move was imminent earlier on Thursday, while Mauro Icardi is also expected to leave the Parc des Princes to make room for another attacking recruit.

    Rennes lost their Ligue 1 opener to Lorient last Sunday and face a trip to Monaco in their second game of the campaign on Saturday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.