Karim Benzema said he still nurtures the dream of winning the Ballon d’Or as it will always be the dream of every competitive footballer across the world to win the prestigious football award.
The 32-year-old Real Madrid and out of favour French international is yet to come close to winning it despite how consistent he has been throughout his career. He only made headlines in 2008 when he was shortlisted for the award but Cristiano Ronaldo who was playing for Manchester United then won it.
Indeed, the just-concluded Spanish La Liga 2019-2020 season has been one of the best in Benzema’s career as he led Real Madrid to replace Barcelona as La Liga champions. The Frenchman scored 21 goals and made 8 assists in 37 appearances out of 38 in the Spanish League which was enough to win Madrid the title.
Unfortunately for him, France Football, the organisers of the Ballon d’Or, announced recently that the award which has been Benzema’s childhood dream has been cancelled for this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most football pundits especially in France and even the president of Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez, believe that Karim Benzema could have won the Ballon d’Or this year if it was not cancelled.
More so, a popular French publication, L’Equipe, published a cover story which tried to make a case for Benzema and why he deserved to win it if it was not cancelled. The publication wrote: “France Football will not award a Ballon d’Or this year, a trophy that Karim Benzema could certainly have claimed since he was so decisive with Real Madrid.”
Unfortunately, Karim Benzema is one of those football stars who found themselves playing football at the highest level in the era of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The two players who are regarded as career rivals have been dominating world football for the past 12 years and still counting.
Though Ronaldo is already 35-year-old, he looks like he still has at least three years of top-class football in him since he could score over 30 goals in the Italian Serie A this season which was enough to win the league for Juventus. While his rival who is already 32-year-old still looks like he can continue being at the top for another 5 years.
Karim Benzema Still Thinks of Winning Ballon d’Or
Recently, Benzema was asked whether he still thinks about winning the 64-year-old award, the Real Madrid talisman who is now 32-year-old said: “Sure, all the time, from my childhood, but it’s not something that drives me crazy. You always think of the Ballon d’Or when you are a professional footballer and when you are competitive.
“I never try to define myself by my playing position, as a number nine or not a number nine, as 10 or 11; I am a football player and I try to be the best player in the world.”
Benzema has been under the shadows of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as they both won the Ballon d’Or 11 times, 6 for Messi and 5 for Ronaldo under Benzema’s nose. Since 2008, it has either been Ronaldo or Messi on the podium for the award except in 2018 when Luka Modric broke the chain.
The incredible football career of these two football greats has hidden the light of their other contemporaries who have been doing great things in the game especially the Likes of Benzema, Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Antoine Griezmann (during his days at Atletico Madrid), Neymar and most recently, Kylian Mbappe.
Who deserves Ballon d’Or the more, Benzema or Lewandowski?
As French media have been rooting for Benzema to win the Ballon d’Or which is regarded as the most prestigious football award in the world, most football fans across the world believe that Lewandowski was in the best position to win it.
This year, the Polish striker scored 34 goals and made 4 assists in 31 matches to help Bayern Munich win the German Bundesliga and they are still very much in the UEFA Champions League, unlike Madrid that are not sure of scaling through to the quarter-final stage of the competition.
Bayern Munich will host Chelsea football club in Germany in August after beating the Premier League club 0-3 at Stamford Bridge in March. While Real Madrid will travel to England to play Manchester City after losing 1-2 in Madrid in the first leg of the round of 16.
In all competitions this season, Lewandowski has scored 51 goals and made 6 assists in 43 appearances for Bayern Munich. While Benzema has scored 26 goals and made 11 assists in 47 appearances.