Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is one of the leading contenders for this year’s Ballon d’Or award and he has admitted it would be a “dream” to win the title with approval from Lionel Messi
Karim Benzema has spoken about his “dream” of winning the Ballon d’Or title with Lionel Messi believing the Real Madrid striker is a major contender this year.
The French forward has scored 10 goals in 10 appearances for Los Blancos this season and has found the best form of his career since Cristiano Ronaldo ’s exit from the club in the summer of 2018.
Benzema has netted 97 goals in just over three seasons since becoming the central striker in the Spanish capital and has been the best player in La Liga in the calendar year.
The experienced striker has been named on the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist for this year alongside his Real Madrid club teammate Luka Modric.
Benzema, who will celebrate his 34 th birthday in December, is among the major contenders to win this year’s award despite not winning any trophies for club or country.
He returned to the France international squad for this summer’s European Championships after a five-year absence and has netted five goals in 10 caps this year for Les Bleus.
The striker is much more than just a goal scorer, as he has established himself as a player who can hold up play, run the channels and bring others into attacks with his movement and link-up play.
Benzema explained in an interview with Diario AS: “Since I was little, I have had the dream of winning the Ballon d’Or, which is the dream that all footballers have.
“It is true that the most important thing is always the team, but when you help your team to win, when you are involved in important plays and score a lot of goals, the next thing is to win the Ballon d’Or, which in my head and in my thoughts .
“Of course, I am going to do everything possible and I am going to work as hard as possible to have that great trophy, to hopefully win it one day and fulfil that dream that I have had since I was a child.”
Benzema joined Real Madrid from Lyon in the summer of 2009, the same year that Ronaldo moved to the Spanish capital from Manchester United.
Much of his first decade at the club saw Benzema used as a foil for the Portuguese superstar, who netted a club record 450 goals in 438 appearances.
Benzema was often deployed on the right-side of a three-man attack and was primarily involved in build-up play rather than scoring, but Ronaldo’s exit has allowed him to flourish.
His performances this year were praised by Lionel Messi, who is also in the running for the Ballon d’Or but believes that Benzema is deserving of a podium finish.
Messi said in a wide-ranging recent interview with France Football: “In my team there are at least two players for whom I’ll vote in Kylian and Neymar.
“Then [Robert] Lewandowski, who has had a great year. But there’s also Benzema.”