Saturday , June 22 2024

“I would give it to him this year”

Former Real Madrid midfielder Julio Baptista has picked Los Blancos attacker Vinicius Junior as his Ballon d’Or winner for 2024. The 23-year-old is in the midst of a superb season.

Despite missing a few games due to injury, Vinicius has bagged 23 goals and 11 assists in 37 games across competitions. Most of those goal contributions – 15 goals and six assists in 25 games – have come in Los Blancos’ victorious La Liga-winning campaign.

He has also bagged five goals and as many assists in nine games in the UEFA Champions League, propelling Carlo Ancelotti’s side to a final against Borussia Dortmund at the Wembley on June 1. Two of those goals came in the 2-2 first-leg draw at Bayern Munich in the semifinals.

Acknowledging his compatriot’s exploits this season, Baptista has no qualms about Vinicius winning the 2024 Ballon d’Or award. He said (as per Marca via Madrid Xtra):

“Ballon d’Or? I would give it to Vinicius Jr this year.”

Vinicius also bagged three goals in two games in Madrid’s victorious Supercopa Espana campaign earlier this year. All three goals came in the 4-1 final win over holders Barcelona.

What’s next for Real Madrid?

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid are in the midst of a fabulous season, having already won two titles: the Supercopa Espana and a record-extending 36th La Liga. They’re also into an 18th UEFA Champions League final.

Having lost only twice across competitions this season, Carlo Ancelotti’s side close their league campaign at home to Real Betis on Saturday (May 25). Following a 4-4 draw at Villarreal last weekend, Madrid are unbeaten in 24 games across competitions, winning 17.

See also  Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek to stay No 1 in 2024? Experts predict the ATP and WTA top eight in the year to come | Tennis News

It’s pertinent to note that both of Madrid’s defeats this season have come at Atletico Madrid, once in the league and the other in the Copa del Rey (Round of 16).

Los Blancos end their season with a Champions League title match with BvB where they will be gunning for a record-extending 15th title and second La Liga-UEFA Champions League double in three years.