'It's a joke!' - Neymar questions Vinicius Jr. Ballon d'Or ranking claiming he deserved top-three spot

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Vinicius Jr and Neymar
Neymar claims Brazil team-mate Vinicius Junior should have finished in the top three at the 2022 Ballon d'Or awards.
  • Vini Jr. won the double with Madrid
  • Finished eighth at Ballon d'Or
  • Neymar says he deserved top three

WHAT HAPPENED? Vinicius Junior finished eighth in the Ballon d'Or rankings after a season where he played a key role in Real Madrid's La Liga and Champions League victories. Compatriot Neymar congratulated Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema on claiming the top prize but believes Vinicius Junior deserved a podium finish.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Benzema, well deserved top player!!" he wrote on Twitter. "But Vini jr in 8th it's a joke. He's top 3 minimum."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Benzema finished top of the pile after a remarkable season where he scored 44 times in 46 games. Sadio Mane came in second place after another impressive campaign with Liverpool, before his move to Bayern Munich, while Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was third.

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Neymar PSG 2022-23

Vinicius Junior Real Madrid 2022-23

DID YOU KNOW? Since the start of 2021-22 season, only Vinicius Junior (5) has won more penalties among La Liga players than Madrid team-mate Rodrygo (4) in all competitions.

WHAT NEXT FOR VINI JR? The Brazil international will be hoping to add to his tally for the season next time out when Madrid take on La Liga's bottom side Elche on Wednesday.