Samba Gold Award: Real Madrid Star Named Best Brazilian Player in Europe

Samba Gold Award: Real Madrid Star Named Best Brazilian Player in Europe

Isaac Darko
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • A Real Madrid star has won the 2023 Samba Gold Award
  • The Brazilian has ended Neymar's streak of three awards in a row
  • The award recognises the best Brazilian player in Europe

Vinicius Junior has been bestowed with this year's prestigious Samba Gold prize, recognising him as the best Brazilian player in Europe.

The Real Madrid star interrupted Neymar's bid for a third consecutive win, emerging triumphant in a comprehensive poll that incorporated the perspectives of fans, journalists, current players, and a distinguished panel of former football luminaries.

Securing an impressive 32.13% of the overall vote, the 22-year-old outshone his counterparts, with Neymar, the prolific Al-Hilal forward, securing the second position with a commendable 27.88%.

Vinicius Junior, Brazil
Vinicius Junior has won the 2023 Samba Gold Award for the best Brazilian player in Europe. Photos by Paulo Benito
Source: Twitter

Completing the podium standings, Paris Saint-Germain's esteemed captain, Marquinhos, claimed the third spot with a noteworthy 13.35%.

Marking a significant milestone in his career, Vinicius has secured his maiden triumph of the Samba Gold award, thereby thwarting Neymar's pursuit of claiming the laurel for an unprecedented seventh time, per Madrid Xtra.

In the women's category, the recipient of the award was Corinthians defender Tamires, and triumphing in the under-20 category was Marcos Leonardo, a promising talent associated with Santos.

Previous winners of the Samba Gold Award

Having been inaugurated in the year 2008, the Samba Gold award witnessed an impressive lineage of winners in its initial years, with Kaka, Luis Fabiano, and Maicon claiming the coveted title in the award's formative three years, GOAL reported.

Subsequently, the baton was passed to Thiago Silva, who ascended to the pinnacle of recognition as the top player for an impressive streak of three consecutive years.

The voting process

A panel of experts, designated by Sambafoot, undertakes the responsibility of handpicking nominees across the three distinct categories—male, female, and under-20.

Subsequently, these nominees undergo a democratic voting process, facilitated by the general public through the dedicated website.

How Vinciius has fared this season

Despite his current injury, Vinicius Jr. demonstrated his skill, contributing six goals and three assists for Real Madrid before being sidelined.

Puyol questions Vinicius attitude

Barcelona legend, Carles Puyol recently had words for Vinicius, lauding the Brazilian but also suggesting he change his attitude change to get more recognition.

As Sports Brief previously reported, the 23-year-old has grabbed headlines in Spain over recent months due to his numerous incidents with other teams.

Some have accused Vinicius of being overly dramatic with his on-pitch antics, some of which have attracted racist abuse from fans and even other players.

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Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)