Neymar is certain that Vinicius will put an end to Brazil's long-standing desire

Neymar has joined the large group of people who consider Vinícius Júnior a favorite to win the Ballon d'Or. If the Real Madrid forward indeed earns that honor, he will fulfill a long-standing Brazilian desire.

Neymar is certain that Vinicius will put an end to Brazil's long-standing desire Embed from Getty Images

Neymar, who came close to winning the Ballon d'Or with two third-place finishes but never claimed the award, now sees his compatriot Vinícius Júnior achieving this prestigious honor.

"Yes, of course, it's for him. I hope so too. I sent him a message before and after the Champions League final. I'm sure he's going to win; he's incredible and proudly represents our country's colors all over the world," Neymar said, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

Vinícius Júnior, the Real Madrid forward, has been in scintillating form, making him a prime candidate for the Ballon d'Or. His performances have not only impressed his fans but also his fellow players, including Neymar, who believes that Vinícius has what it takes to win the coveted award. Neymar's confidence in Vinícius stems from the young player's remarkable consistency and his ability to shine on the biggest stages, including the Champions League.

This summer, Vinícius will have another opportunity to showcase his talent and strengthen his Ballon d'Or candidacy at the Copa América with Brazil. The tournament will take place in the United States, providing a significant platform for Vinícius to demonstrate his skills on an international level. However, Neymar will not be able to join his national team in their quest for the Copa América title, as he is currently sidelined due to an injury. The Al-Hilal forward expressed his disappointment, stating, "That's sad. It's a shame not to be there, but I'll be cheering for them. I hope Brazil wins the tournament; we have the players for it."

If Vinícius manages to win the Ballon d'Or, he would become the first Brazilian to do so in seventeen years. The last Brazilian to receive the honor was Kaká in 2007, following his outstanding season with AC Milan. In the decade preceding Kaká's win, other Brazilian legends such as Ronaldo (1997 and 2002), Rivaldo (1999), and Ronaldinho (2005) claimed the prestigious award. However, since Kaká's triumph, the Ballon d'Or has been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with only Luka Modric (2018) and Karim Benzema (2022) breaking their duopoly.

Neymar's endorsement of Vinícius highlights the passing of the torch within Brazilian football, as a new generation of talent rises to take on the mantle of their illustrious predecessors. The excitement surrounding Vinícius Júnior's potential Ballon d'Or win is a testament to his hard work, dedication, and extraordinary talent, which have made him one of the most promising footballers of his generation. As the Copa América approaches, all eyes will be on Vinícius to see if he can lead Brazil to glory and solidify his claim for the Ballon d'Or.

Updated: 11:17, 4 Jun 2024

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