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Barcelona icon tips Real Madrid superstar to beat Mbappe for Ballon d’Or

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have done it again. In the first week of June, the men in white will contest yet another UEFA Champions League final, this time against Borussia Dortmund.

Having already secured the league title to their name, all the focus is on the finale that lies ahead at Wembley. A double trophy heist would be a perfect way to end a season where the club was not given much of a chance, after all.

The team’s accomplishments, moreover, will have a direct impact on the individual awards for the season including the FIFA The Best award and the Ballon d’Or.

Speaking at a recent interview (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Barcelona and Brazil legend Rivaldo spoke at length on Real Madrid, their run in the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or.

He began his conversation by tipping his compatriot, Vinicius Jr, to win the Ballon d’Or this season amidst rumours that the youngster is currently leading the race.

“Taking into account what he is doing at Real Madrid, he is undoubtedly the most important player today,” he said on Vinicius.

“Vinicius has a great chance of winning the Ballon d’Or. He is already doing very well, he already deserved to be there last season. He is now among the three best players in the world,” he added.

Speaking on what made the Brazilian a deserving candidate to take home the famed individual award that Rivaldo himself won in 1999, he said,

“This year, with what he is doing at Real Madrid and with his way of playing, he undoubtedly has a lot of chances of being the best player in the world. He can beat Mbappe to that trophy,” he insisted.

Rivaldo backs Vinicius for Ballon d’Or glory. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images for FIFA)

Commenting on whether Real Madrid could recreate Barcelona’s achievement of having all three finalists for the Ballon d’Or from the same team, Rivaldo said,

“I think the winner will depend a lot on the Champions League final. If Real Madrid win, they could have two players, or three, who knows, among the best players in the world.”

“Bellingham is a great player and will have a great opportunity in this match by playing against his old club and at home, in London. But everything will depend, I insist, on how the match unfolds,” he added on Bellingham’s chances.

Finally, the legend of the game gave his two cents on the UCL finale at Wembley which will be played in just under a month.

“I’ve been saying for a long time that the final would be a Real Madrid – Borussia Dortmund. And I said that the champion would be Borussia,” he said, reminiscing his previous prediction.

“I think Madrid is a favourite, without a doubt, but Borussia Dortmund come strongly for the title. They have already shown that they knows how to operate this competition, that they knows how to play difficult matches,” he added on the German club’s chances.

Rivaldo then concluded that he would place his money on Dortmund to come up clutch on the night over the favourites Real Madrid.

“We saw it in the two games they played against PSG, winning in the first leg and the return game of the semifinal. Yes, Madrid is a favourite, but I think Borussia will be the champion.”

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Real Madrid News

Bundesliga title-winner ‘is ready for Real Madrid’, says former German great

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with Sport BILD (h/t AS), Germany legend Michael Ballack has claimed that Bayer Leverkusen sensation Florian Wirtz is ready to play for Real Madrid.

Wirtz is a player that Real Madrid have been closely monitoring for a while now, with the German sensation being seen as a long-term replacement for Toni Kroos, who announced his retirement yesterday.

A move for Wirtz is being planned for the summer of 2025 and Ballack believes that the Bundesliga title winner with Leverkusen is ready for the big move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

“Wirtz is ready for Real Madrid,” said Ballack.

“In terms of football, Wirtz can definitely play for Real Madrid. You can also see it in Jude Bellingham after his move from BVB: when you play with even better players, you become even better,” he added.

The Toni Kroos replacement? (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Wirtz has a contract with Bayer Leverkusen that runs until the summer of 2027. As things stand, the new German champions have no intentions of selling their prized asset this year.

However, there appears to be an acceptance that the German international will be on the move in 2025.

Other top clubs like Manchester City and Bayern Munich are also understood to be interested, but Real Madrid are likely to beat them in the race should it come down to that next year.

A move for Wirtz, though, could cost in excess of €100 million for Real Madrid should they do indeed decide to proceed with his signing next year.

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