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‘His time has come’ – Two Brazil legends back Real Madrid superstar for Ballon d’Or

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Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Speaking to ESPN, Brazil legends Ronaldo and Rivaldo have backed Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr. to win the Ballon d’Or this year.

The 23-year-old superstar has enjoyed a spectacular 2023/24 season, playing a key role in Real Madrid’s La Liga, UEFA Champions League, and Spanish Super Cup triumphs.

The Brazilian international even went on to score for Los Blancos in the finals of the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund.

Having tasted glory with the club, Vinicius is now eyeing success on the international level as he prepares to spearhead Brazil’s campaign at Copa America 2024.

Already a leading candidate to win the Ballon d’Or this year, the attacker has now received further endorsement from two of the greatest icons in football in the form of Ronaldo and Rivaldo.

Vinicius’ time has come, says Ronaldo

“I think Viní already deserves it [the Ballon d’Or]. He’s had a spectacular Champions League, a spectacular La Liga, and he’s been evolving more and more,” Ronaldo said.

Reflecting on his interactions with the 23-year-old forward in the past, he added: “I remember that I did his presentation the day he arrived at Real Madrid and I got on well with him.

“I talk to Viní a lot about football and certain details and, looking at everything that’s happened, it’s a fantastic development that he’s making.”

Ronaldo and Rivaldo back Vini Jr. for the Ballon d’Or. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

“I think his time has come. He’s been extremely decisive this year for Real Madrid. For me, today he’s the best player in the world by far,” he added.

Rivaldo also in agreement

Rivaldo also agreed that Vini Jr. is very much deserving of the Ballon d’Or, highlighting the forward’s dedication and work ethic and the improvements he has made in his game.

“He’s a very dedicated boy. He arrived at Real Madrid and went to Real Madrid B to learn. He played a few games and we could see that he still needed a bit of time to learn how to score. And he learnt!”

“He trained hard and dedicated himself. Today, you can see that he has a much easier time scoring.”

Continuing, he added: “So Viní is a player to be congratulated. He deserves the Ballon d’Or. Of course, there’s nothing better for him than to secure the award once and for all than by winning the Copa America now, right?

“Today he already deserves the award, but if he wins the Copa America, even better.”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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