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Real Madrid superstar inching closer to Ballon d’Or dream with UCL final in sight

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Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Real Madrid are gearing up to play their most important game of the season against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

A victory not only boosts Real Madrid’s quest for the coveted Champions League trophy but also improves the players’ chances of earning individual honours.

One of the names leading Real Madrid’s Champions League charge is Vinicius Jr., who also played an incredibly influential role in the Merengues’ La Liga victory.

A few steps away from winning the Ballon d’Or

Vinicius has been instrumental for Real Madrid, contributing goals, assists, and leapfrogging his team to success, having already secured the Spanish Super Cup and La Liga title.

In fact, this season the Brazilian star has scored 21 goals and provided 11 assists from just 35 games, reaching a new scoring peak. When broken down per 90 minutes, he averages 0.69 goals and 0.3 assists, contributing nearly one goal (0.99) per full match.

Vinicius thrives on the big stage, particularly in the Champions League. Over the last three seasons, no one has been more involved in goals, with 31 contributions, nor has anyone made more assists (15), key passes (66), or successful dribbles (101).

And due to his achievement thus far, the tricky winger is getting closer and closer to the Ballon d’Or this year.

Vinicius has been a driving force behind Real Madrid’s success. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Potential competitors

Considering the Ballon d’Or award tends to emphasize collective accolades, winning the biggest club competition is sure to elevate Vinicius’ chances of getting his hands on the trophy.

However, competition for the Ballon d’Or is always intense, and players like Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe are also in the mix.

Bellingham’s incredible performances in midfield for Real Madrid, showcasing leadership and goal-scoring ability, have earned him widespread acclaim.

Meanwhile, Mbappe’s prowess with PSG and the French national team keeps him at the forefront of the award.

If PSG and Real Madrid both make it to Wembley, it could set up a contest that influences the award’s outcome. Vinicius’s role in key matches leading up to and during this potential final would be crucial in swaying voters.

The upcoming Euros will also have to be taken into account, though, as international tournaments also play a significant role in determining the Ballon d’Or winner.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid announce starting lineup to face Real Betis

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid will sign off on their successful La Liga campaign today with a fixture against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The game, being seen as a final preparation for the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, sees manager Carlo Ancelotti field his strongest possible lineup.

All eyes will obviously be on the retiring Toni Kroos, who bids goodbye to the Bernabeu in what will be his final home game as a Real Madrid player.

The German international starts in the centre of the park alongside Federico Valverde, while Eduardo Camavinga slots in as the No. 6.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid captain, Nacho Fernandez, also starts in what could be his last game at the Bernabeu as well.

Nacho pairs up with Antonio Rudiger in defence, flanked by the full-back pairing of Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. Thibaut Courtois starts in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Up front, Vinicius Jr. starts in attack, partnering up with Rodrygo Goes. Top scorer Jude Bellingham occupies the attacking midfield role for Real Madrid.

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