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Real Madrid phenom the ‘number one’ favourite to win Ballon d’Or

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Vinicius Jr may be in the spotlight regularly for his antics on the field and the atrocities he faced when playing. His football, however, speaks loud and clear and is seldom affected.

Over the years, the Real Madrid phenom has moulded his game to an elite level and is currently one of, if not the best winger, in world football.

In fact, it would not be an overstatement to claim that Vinicius is the leader of the new generation of players as he is already in the debate as one of the best players on the planet.

Numero uno

According to reports from Rodra (h/t Madrid Xtra), Vinicius is now the number-one favourite to take home the prestigious Ballon d’Or for the ongoing season.

Two years after Karim Benzema lifted the accolade for single-handedly pioneering so many of Real Madrid’s comebacks en route to their UCL triumph, Vinicius is set to do the same.

Notably, it was he who scored the UCL final-winning goal two years ago as well.

Vinicius’ biggest challenger for the prize, Kylian Mbappe, faced elimination from the UCL earlier this week in the semifinal, thus taking him out of contention.

With the league title already in the bag and the UCL just one step away, Vinicius’ biggest competitor is likely to be his own teammate Jude Bellingham and the prize is almost certainly set to arrive at Santiago Bernabeu.

Ballon d’Or incoming? (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

A force like none other

Vinicius scored both goals for Real Madrid against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena, helping the team take home a much-needed draw after 90 minutes of action.

Despite not getting on the scoresheet last night, he once again ran riot for Los Blancos with a 10/10 performance.

In 90 minutes, he recorded three shots on target, completed a stunning seven dribbles and provided two key passes under pressure.

The youngster has scored five goals and provided four assists for the men in white in the Champions League this season, in addition to 13 goals and five assists in La Liga.

Victory in the UCL finals and a strong performance in the summer’s Copa America could seal the deal for the Brazilian.

The Ballon d’Or, needless to say, would be deserved.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid identify two major areas of threat from Borussia Dortmund

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The players in the Real Madrid dressing room are well aware that they are considered the favourites for the upcoming Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund. 

According to journalist Jorge Picon, the team’s performance in the final stages of the season has boosted their confidence and everyone in the squad believes they have a great chance of winning the final.

Despite this, though, there are some concerns about one player and two potential threats from the opposition. 

Now, Real Madrid are good at handling the pressure that comes with being the favourites, but they know that Dortmund are a team that cannot be underestimated.

Real Madrid aware of the threat Dortmund pose

This confidence, however, does not translate into arrogance. Real Madrid understand that Dortmund have the ability to cause them problems. 

To address this, manager Carlo Ancelotti must focus on two key challenges: dealing with offensive transitions and defending set pieces.

Dortmund are not a team that exert high pressure on their opponents, but they are very dangerous on the counterattack. 

Borussia Dortmund are very dangerous in set pieces. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

They play a direct and vertical style of football, relying on quick, few-touch plays to move the ball up the field. Instead of building play slowly from the back, they often utilise Mats Hummels’ ability to make precise long passes to players running behind the defence.

In terms of set pieces, Dortmund pose a significant threat with their tall players, as Niclas Fullkrug, Mats Hummels, and Nico Schlotterbeck are all over 1.90 meters tall, making them dangerous targets during corner kicks and free kicks.

Dortmund’s forwards are quick

Speed is another factor that Real Madrid need to be wary of. This is because Karim Adeyemi is a particularly fast player who can break through defensive lines with his runs. 

He usually plays on the wing and can switch sides with Jadon Sancho, but Adeyemi is considered Dortmund’s main offensive weapon due to his pace and ability to exploit spaces. 

While Sancho is also a skilled dribbler who can take on defenders one-on-one, Real Madrid has two reliable full-backs in Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy who will be tasked with stopping him.

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