Football Features

Who has been the best player of Real Madrid’s 2023/24 season?

By James Amey

Published: 16:59, 31 May 2024

Real Madrid are one game away from completing another famous double. 

After already securing a record 36th LaLiga title, finishing 10 points clear of rivals Barcelona, they head to Wembley looking to make even more history against Dortmund in the Champions League final.

Los Blancos are looking to win their 15th European Cup/Champions League trophy, which would be twice as many as any other club in the competition’s history, while Carlo Ancelotti is also looking to become the first manager to lift the famous trophy five times. Toni Kroos plays his final ever club game, Jude Bellingham is looking for his first UCL trophy, while Vinicius Junior can equal a Luis Figo record.

A host of players have put incredible performances for them his season and it’s no surprise that Madrid players currently occupy the top three places in the betting odds to win the 2024 Ballon d’Or with Bet365.

2024 Ballon d’Or Winner Odds

Player Bet365
Vinícius Júnior 11/10
Jude Bellingham 3/1
Toni Kroos 7/1
Harry Kane 8/1
Kylian Mbappé 8/1
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But who has been Real Madrid’s best player this season, and who deserves to win the 2024 Ballon d’Or? We’ve taken a look at some of the contenders.

Jude Bellingham

What a first season in Spain it’s been for Jude Bellingham.

Having already secured the first league title of his career, he can add the Champions League trophy to his collection, at Wembley, against his former side Borussia Dortmund and overtake Iker Casillas for the most Champions League starts before turning 21 years old if he is named in the starting XI for the final.

This would be just another record in an incredible debut season for the 20-year-old.

In October, he became the first Real Madrid player in the 21st century to score eight goals in his first eight LaLiga appearances and the first Real Madrid player to score twice in his first El Clasico. In November, he became the first player in Real Madrid’s history to score in each of his first four European Cup/Champions League games for the club, and in February he became the first Real Madrid midfielder in the 21st century to score 15+ goals in a single LaLiga campaign.

He has already overtaken David Beckham and Michael Owen in the Real Madrid goalscoring charts, scored two stoppage time winners in his first two LaLiga El Clasicos and won the Trophée Kopa for the best U21 player in the world.

And if he was awarded the Ballon d’Or, he could top of it all of by becoming the second-youngest recipient after Ronaldo (R9). However, if the the award is announced before the 28th September 2024, he would break that record as well.

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Vinícius Júnior

Vinícius Júnior has once again moved to another level in 2023/24.

The Brazilian has been involved in 22 goals in 25 appearances for Real Madrid across all competitions in 2024, more than any other LaLiga player during this calendar year. 16 goals and eight assists is an impressive return, but it gets even better when you learn three of those goals and two of those assists have come in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, including a brace against Bayern in the first-leg of their semi-final.

The 23-year-old has been directly involved in more goals than any other player across the last three Champions League campaigns (31 – 16 goals, 15 assists), with 17 of them coming in the knockout stages of the competition. He is also the only player to complete 100+ take-ons in the UCL since the start of the 2021/22 campaign and if he assists in the final he can equal a Los Blancos legend.

With five goals and four assists in the the Champions League this season and seven goals and five assists in 2022/23, an assist against Dortmund would make him just the second player in the competition’s history to score 5+ goals and provide 5+ assists in back-to-back Champions League campaigns after the legendary Luis Figo.

READ MORE: Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid Champions League Final Predictions, Tips and Odds

Having already scored the winner in 2021/22 UCL final, two goals here would also see him just the third player to score 3+ goals in UCL finals after former Los Blancos players Cristiano Ronaldo (4) and Gareth Bale (3) and almost clinch the Ballon d’Or for the Brazilian. Something teammate Jude Bellingham thinks he deserves.

When asked about the Ballon d’Or, he said

“I’m not really too fussed about it. I always felt that those awards were like for strikers and wingers, the flashy players. I know I can entertain the crowd but no-one can do it like Vini. When he is at his best, he’s the best player in the world.”

Toni Kroos

In his final season as a professional footballer, Toni Kroos has shown everyone that he is still world class.

After announcing that the 2023/24 campaign would be his last and that he would be retiring after Euro 2024, the German midfielder has the chance to end his club career with a record equalling sixth Champions League trophy against Dortmund at Wembley.

The 34-year-old ended the 2023/24 LaLiga campaign with his higest ever pass accuracy in a single league season for Real Madrid (95%), whilst also attempting the second most passes in a single campaign for Los Blancos (2368). It was the highest pass accuracy of any LaLiga player to attempt 100+ passes, whilst also providing more assists than any other Real Madrid player in LaLiga in his final season (8). He also topped the charts for the most passes into the final third per 90 minutes in Europe’s top five leagues (16).

Since his move from Bayern in 2014, he has created more chances than any other Real Madrid player across all competitions (970), as well as providing 70 assists in his 306 appearances in LaLiga and never ending a campaign with a pass accuracy lower than 92%.