Vinícius Jr. focused on Real Madrid’s UCL final not Ballon d’Or

Vinícius Júnior has dismissed speculation that he could win the Ballon d’Or and is instead focused on helping Real Madrid lift the Champions League trophy for a record-extending 15th time.

Named the player of the match in Madrid’s 2-1 Champions League semifinal second-leg triumph over Bayern Munich on Wednesday, the Brazil international said: “Everyone talks about the Ballon d’Or but I’m very calm. I want to win another Champions League with this team.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

“I can do great things this season and then I have to go with Brazil [for the Copa América]. I always think about the teams first and then me.

“We were able to place the best team in the world in another final. We have 25 stars in the team, all of us have worked hard to achieve our aim which is to go to London [for the Champions League final] and to win LaLiga. We have won LaLiga, we are going to London.”

Madrid will take on Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final on June 1 at London’s Wembley stadium.

Vinícius, 23, is one of the main contenders to succeed Lionel Messi as the Ballon d’Or winner.

He scored a hat trick as Madrid beat Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final in January and his 13 goals helped Los Blancos win LaLiga.

His form in the Champions League has been particularly impressive, scoring five goals and setting up five more in nine appearances.

“I came here [to Madrid] when I was young, 18,” he said. “I was criticised a lot and that made me work a lot more in order to be ready when the time came…I train every day to improve…I’m now here, in another final.

“I’ve never worked in a group that is as united as ours is this season. This group works a lot.”

Vinícius also paid tribute to Spanish forward Joselu, whose two late goals put Madrid in the final.

“[Against Bayern on Wednesday] Joselu came on in the 81st minute and scored two goals,” he said. “This is a reward for Joselu. He has always worked to do the best for the team and never complained when he didn’t play. This proves what our group is.”