Karim Benzema is spot-on about where Vinicius Jr. ranks among world’s best players

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images) /

Regardless of what happens in the UEFA Champions League Final against Liverpool on Saturday, the 2021-22 season will be remembered for two things: Karim Benzema having his best-ever season at Real Madrid and Vinicius Jr. having his breakthrough season, coming into his own.

During the UEFA Open Media Day, several Real Madrid players shared their thoughts about how the season has panned out, about their journey in the Champions League so far, and of course the final against Liverpool. Club vice-captain Karim Benzema was one of the players to speak.

Benzema was asked about his partner-in-crime this season, Vinícius Jr.

Here’s what Benzema said:

"“I always talk to him a lot on the pitch, because I think he can make even more of a difference if he concentrates just a little bit more. But, I’ve told him to keep playing as he does. He’s young in age, but he’s already experienced on the pitch. He’s played over 100 games. I don’t know why we don’t talk about Vinícius more when discussing the best players in the world. I think he’s in the top five.”"

Vinicius Jr.’s statistics put him in rare company

Benzema is totally right in his assessment of the Brazilian youngster. Vini has been nothing less than brilliant this season, scoring 21 goals and having 20 assists. Only Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Janos Jantshcer (Strum Graz) and Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain) have scored at least 20 goals and 20 assists this season across all competitions. That shows just how great the 21-year-old Real Madrid winger has been this season.

But statistics can sometimes be misleading, ain’t it? It’s not just his goal contributions that have dramatically increased, but his ability to consistently beat defenders, passing, vision, decision-making, implementing the basics with extreme efficiency, and his transformation into a game-changer are among all the other changes that make Vini Jr. one of the best players in the world this season, and the best left winger in the world.

In my article titled ‘Where does Benzema rank among the 2022 Ballon d’Or contenders yet?’ last month, I put Vini Jr. 8th on the list. Now, if Real Madrid win the UCL, I am sure Vini Jr. will end up in the top 5. Finishing at the podium is a bit of a stretch, but even that day is not far.

Next. The 5 players Real Madrid should have never sold. dark

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Vini Jr. has a limitless ceiling. It’s scary to think just how good he will become once he enters his prime a few years from now. Till then, all we can do is feel blessed to have a player like him in our team and enjoy his magic on the pitch.