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Thierry Henry rates Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior as "the best player in the world right now" after the Brazil international played a key role in the Spanish giants' La Liga success and UEFA Champions League final triumph. Speaking ahead of Saturday's 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley in London which also saw him score, the French great as part of Paramount+'s coverage from the English capital was asked by fellow analyst Jamie Carragher if he agreed when he said "I think Vini Jr. is the best player in the world."

"Yes, that is what I said -- right now," responded Henry to Carragher's opinion before qualifying his statement ahead of kick-off in the English capital. "It can change. Because, we all know, people talk about Ballon d'Or all the time -- Copa America and the Euro will dictate that. It will not stop because of this game, even if Vinicius scores or Bellingham scores and Real Madrid win -- the Euro or the Copa America will have an impact on who get the Ballon d'Or. But, right now, this guy is ahead for me."

The debate is a timely one with Real teammates Vini Jr. and Jude Bellingham in top form while Kylian Mbappe is expected to join their ranks from next week onwards and both the England and the France internationals have UEFA Euro 2024 coming up while the South American will be at Copa America on U.S. soil. With no Neymar and the Selecao Brasileira generally in disarray since Tite's departure after the FIFA 2022 World Cup, Vini Jr. could step up and be a much-needed hero for the Samba stars.

Although Bellingham and Mbappe also have league titles to their names, the French superstar's additional domestic cup from the Coupe de France win in his final game as a Paris Saint-Germain player is no match for the Real pair's UCL medals. Not only could Mbappe be part of the winning squad at the Euros, he could also have a second international tournament this summer with the Olympic Games in Paris which could also factor into the debate -- he arguably now needs to win one or both.

Should that happen, Henry would be Mbappe's head coach as the under-21 and under-23 boss this past year or so and the pair will hope to bring glory to the host nation. However, Copa America success for Vini Jr. or an England Euro win could see Mbappe forced to wait another year for his first taste of Ballon d'Or glory which has been expected for some time but delayed due to a combination of PSG's failure to win the Champions League as well as Lionel Messi's unexpected longevity in terms of top awards.