Lionel Messi names Real Madrid superstar as a future contender for the Ballon d’Or

Photo by Daniel Jayo/Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with L’Equipe, Ballon d’Or 2023 winner Lionel Messi has named Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr. as a possible contender to win the prestigious honour in the future.

Messi won the Golden Orb last night in France for a record eighth time in his career, after having led Argentina to the FIFA World Cup 2022 triumph.

The 36-year-old former Barcelona captain beat Real Madrid targets Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to the grand prize, while Vinicius Jr. and Luka Modric were able to finish within the top ten in the Ballon d’Or rankings.

Vinicius among the future contenders, claims Messi

During the interview with L’Equipe, Messi, who is now plying his trade in the MLS with Inter Miami, was asked to name the players who he sees competing for the Ballon d’Or in the future.

In response, the Argentina captain said: “It could be hotly contested in the coming years with players like Haaland, Mbappe, and Vinicius Jr. There are lots of young players that will fight for the Ballon d’Or.”

“I also think that Lamine Yamal, who is still very young but who has already played very well with Barcelona and has become an important player. There will certainly be others who will fight for it as well with other players yet to appear. It will be a new era.”

Vinicius aspires to win the Ballon d’Or

Vinicius Jr. won the Socrates Award. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Last night’s Ballon d’Or gala was a successful one for Vinicius Jr. as well, as he won the Socrates Award for his contributions towards helping education in Brazil as well as his fight against racism in football.

Speaking after receiving his award, the 23-year-old Real Madrid superstar confessed that he dreams about winning the Golden Orb in the future, saying:

“Hopefully one day I can win the Ballon d’Or. I always say that I want to win many Champions Leagues with Real Madrid.” 

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