Brazil’s Ronaldo named Vinicius Jr currently the World Best player

Two Brazil legends have joined the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Jude Bellingham in staking Vinicius Junior’s Ballon d’Or claim.

Brazil legend Ronaldo says Vinicius Junior is the best player in the world “by far”, as the former Real Madrid and Selecao striker joined calls for the winger to be crowned this year’s Ballon d’Or winner.

It has already been a memorable 2024 for Vinicius, who played a starring role as Madrid regained the LaLiga crown, before scoring in their Champions League final victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

The winger top-scored for Los Blancos with 24 goals across all competitions, with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Jude Bellingham and Neymar insisting his exploits are worthy of winning the Ballon d’Or award.

Vinicius would be the fifth Brazilian to win the prestigious accolade after Kaka, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo (twice), with the latter believing it is a formality.

“He’s been extremely decisive this year for Real Madrid,” he told ESPN Brasil. “For me, today he’s the best player in the world by far.

“I think Vini already deserves [the Ballon d’Or]. I think his time has come. He’s had a spectacular Champions League, a spectacular LaLiga, and he’s been evolving more and more.

“I remember that I did his presentation the day he arrived at Real Madrid and I got on well with him. I talk to Vini a lot about football and certain details and, looking at everything that’s happened, it’s a fantastic development that he’s making.”

Vinicius now turns his attentions to the Copa America, where Brazil are among the favourites to land the crown in the United States.

Rivaldo, who won the Ballon d’Or in 1999, concurred with Ronaldo, and thinks the 23-year-old would be guaranteed the award should he lead the Selecao to glory.

“He deserves the Ballon d’Or,” the former attacking midfielder said. “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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