Sancho, Vinicius, Joao Felix: in that order for Zidane
Zinedine Zidane’s decision to choose Jadon Sancho over Vinicius in his voting for the Kopa Trophy may not go down well with Real Madrid fans.
Zinedine Zidane’s voting sheet for the Ballon d’Or awards has been revealed by organisers France Football and the French coach’s choice for the Kopa Trophy has raised a few eyebrows in Madrid.
The second edition of the Kopa Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding player under 21, was eventually handed to Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt on Monday, who beat out fellow favourites Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund and Atlético Madrid's Joao Felix.
However De Ligt did not feature on the voting sheet of Zidane, who opted for Jadon Sancho in first, Vinicius in second and Joao Felix in third. Zidane’s decision to choose a young English winger playing at Borussia Dortmund over his own player may come as a surprise to Madrid fans.
Zidane’s voting sheet comes to light at a time when Vinicius has been struggling to win the confidence of the French coach, who now ranks the Brazilian’s fellow young compatriot Rodrygo higher in the pecking order at the Bernabéu.
Vinicius has not started a game since the 1-0 defeat to Mallorca on October 19 and since then has has made just three cameo appearances in the last eight games. Rodrygo, meanwhile, has seen his fortunes ascend in the opposite direction, starting five of the last eight fixtures, which included his hat-trick performance against Galatasaray.
Sancho’s numbers outshine Vinicius
While Zidane’s choice may surprise some Madridistas, from an objective point of view it's hard to argue against.
Sancho has been one of the Bundesliga’s sensations since he broke through last year, and so far this season has provided seven goals and nine assists in 19 games.
Last season the young Englishman was almost equally as prolific, with 13 goals and 19 assists in 43 games. That is in comparison to Vinicius’ three goals and 12 assists in 29 games during the 2019/20 campaign.
In last year’s Kopa Trophy voting Zidane chose compatriot Kylian Mbappé, who went on to lift the inaugural edition of the award.