Karim Benzema’s heroics for Real Madrid have led Lionel Messi to believe that he will win the Ballon d’Or this year.
This season, Benzema has been one of Europe’s most impressive players, scoring 44 goals and assisting 15 times in all competitions to help Real win La Liga and the Champions League. In the modern era, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the Ballon d’Or, with Luka Modric being the only player to win it since 2008.
Messi, on the other hand, believes Benzema will win the award in 2022 when it is presented in October. “I don’t think there are any doubts; Benzema had a fantastic year and ended up consecrating himself to the Champions League, where he was indispensable from the last 16 onwards in all of the games,” he told TyC Sports. “This year, I don’t believe there will be any doubts.”
On Saturday at the Stade de France, Vinicius Jr scored the game-winning goal for Real, but Benzema has been the undisputed star for Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the competition. In just 12 games, the French striker scored 15 goals and added two assists, including some crucial goals in knockout stage victories over PSG, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
In the last-16, the 34-year-old faced Messi’s PSG, where he made an important contribution. PSG won the first leg 1-0, but a Benzema hat-trick stunned them 3-1 in the second. Benzema deserves to be recognized at the Ballon d’Or ceremony later this year after a performance like this.
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Real Madrid won the Champions League thanks to Karim Benzema.
(Getty Images/Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press)
“The Real Madrid game killed us all, including myself and the rest of the dressing room.” There was a great deal of optimism among us. “It motivates me to win once more,” Messi stated.
“However, the Champions League is not always won by the best team.” I don’t mean to diminish Real Madrid’s achievements; they weren’t the best team in the competition, but they still managed to beat everyone.”
With seven Ballon d’Or awards, Messi is the most successful player in Ballon d’Or history, two more than Ronaldo. However, with Messi now 34 and playing for PSG, and Ronaldo 37 and playing for a struggling Manchester United, it appears that their era of dominance in the competition may be coming to an end.