Vinicius Junior: "I want to win final and Copa América and Ballon d'Or for Toni".

Real Madrid's Brazilian winger Vinicius Junior (23) has no doubt who his motivating him for a year of success, as he aims to win the Champions League final this Saturday for long-time teammate Toni Kroos (34), who announced his retirement from football after the EUROs later this summer.

Ahead of the final against Borussia Dortmund this weekend at Wembley, the winger sat down with the media to discuss the final, the Copa America and Kroos.

Question: Has Bellingham given you any advice on how to attack Dortmund for the final?

Vinicius Junior: "I want to win final and Copa América and Ballon d'Or for Toni".

A: "He hasn't told me that many things because we have to play our game since he arrived in July, we have changed positions and we have understood each other very well.

Q: It's your second Champions League final, do you prefer to win the Champions League and leave the Golden Ball to Kroos, or do you want it all?

A: "No, I'd rather win the final and win the Copa America and the Ballon d'Or for Toni, as it's his last season.

Q: Are you going to repeat any rituals before the Champions League final like in 2022?

A: "I plan to do the same as always, like last year where all the players played cards in the morning before the final".

Q: With 20 goals and 11 assists this season, do you consider this your best moment?

A: "Yes, yes, because the start has been very complicated because of the injury, but I have prepared my head so that when the second part of the season came, I would be at my best".

Q: What is Kroos like as a teammate and a footballer, and what does it mean to you that this is his last game?

A: "Of course, we always say we have to play for Toni as it's his last game for us. He is a much better person than he is as a player and he has been important not only for the club, but especially for the young players who have come here."

Q: What would it mean for Vinicius Junior to win the Ballon d'Or?

A: "It would be a very nice prize because you work all the years of your life to be able to become one of the best players in the world.

Q: How does Toni Kroos facilitate the play for the strikers and the team?

A: "Toni makes it easier for everyone, because he always controls the game, whenever there is pressure, if we give the ball to him we know we are going to lose and he makes everything easier for us".

Q: How has Ancelotti influenced your development as a player, especially this season?

A: "A bit of everything, but especially this last season because he changed my position, because I never imagined myself playing there. I had a lot of difficulty and at the beginning I told him that I didn't want to play, but he has convinced me, he has made me a better player since he came here.

Q: How did you handle the change of position suggested by Ancelotti?

A: "A lot of things, because normally we just do outfield, but as it was a position I had never played, I had to watch a lot of videos not only here, but at home, see how the centre-backs play, because the centre-backs are much stronger than me and it's been a very nice season, because I've evolved in a year as a player, like I had never evolved before".


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