Vinicius has no plans to leave Real Madrid as he sets sights on Ballon d'Or

By Sports Desk December 09, 2021

Vinicius Junior insisted he wants to stay with Real Madrid when asked to put a price tag on his potential worth amid an excellent run of form.

The Brazil international is into his fourth season with LaLiga's leaders and has formed a fruitful partnership with Karim Benzema this campaign to put Madrid eight points clear after 16 games.

The pair rank as the joint-best attacking duo across Europe's top five leagues this term with 22 goals between them, the same amount as Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry combined.

Indeed, Vinicius has netted 10 times in 16 top-flight appearances so far, becoming the first player born in 2000 or later to reach double figures for goals in a single LaLiga season.

The former Flamengo attacker was asked to value himself ahead of the derby clash with city rivals Atletico Madrid on Sunday, but refused to do so as he reiterated his happiness to stay with Carlo Ancelotti's team.

"It's better not to put any [price tag on me]," Vinicius told Vamos. "It's better to stay here in Madrid.

"I always listen to the people that I have by my side, at home and at the club, not the outsiders. Of course, the outsiders speak, but I don't care, I listen to the people who love me and who are with me from the beginning."

 

Given Vinicius' recent form, the winger was asked about his aspirations to win the Ballon d'Or, but he passed credit onto Benzema, who ranks third for goal involvements among players from Europe's top five leagues (all competitions) this season (25) – behind only Lewandowski (30) and Mohamed Salah (29).

Nevertheless, Vinicius does believe he possesses the talent to win the prize one day.

"I have to work hard for that, I have to keep playing here, keep doing things well and always be the best version of myself," he continued. 

"If I keep playing like that, of course I can win it, but the main thing for me is the team and to win many titles with Real Madrid.

"[Benzema] is a great player, everything he does seems very easy. He always helps the team and I am closer to him – whenever I can, I help him. I must continue like this, improving to help Karim win the Ballon d'Or and continue being our top scorer."

Since his debut in September 2018, only four players – Benzema (159), Casemiro (148), Thibaut Courtois (147) and Luka Modric (143) – have appeared more for Madrid across all competitions than Vinicius (140).

In fact, this season the 21-year-old has played 22 times for Los Blancos, the joint-most among at the club alongside goalkeeper Courtois, but Vinicius is not worried about burning out with a heavy workload.

"Sometimes of course I feel tired from playing so much, but I always want to play, to be on the field to help the team," he added. 

"I am at my best technically and physically and mentally as well. I want to continue playing and rest at Christmas."

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