Vinicius Jr’s dazzling performances at Real Madrid have put the Brazilian striker in position to win his first Ballon d’Or and manager Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday the 23-year-old deserved to win the prestigious award.

Vinicius scored five times and provided as many assists in the Champions League alone this season to help the Madrid side qualify for the final, while also netting 13 goals in La Liga, which they won for the 36th time at the weekend -last end, which constitutes a record. The record 14-time European champions will face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley on June 1.

“He’s doing a great job,” Ancelotti told reporters on the eve of Saturday’s trip to relegation-threatened Granada. “There is still the Champions League final to come and then he will be at the Copa América. He is very close and if he has positive results in both competitions, he could well win it (the Ballon d’Or). Before I became Madrid coach, I saw Vinicius on television and thought he was an incredibly talented player. When I arrived here, it was clear, and he improved on many points to showcase his talent.

“He is better able to avoid opponents and has also improved in front of goal. He has achieved this through a spectacular daily work ethic, he is focused in training and recovers well after matches. “He is a very disciplined professional and he deserves everything he has achieved.”