Thierry Henry believes that fellow countryman Karim Benzema deserves to win this year’s Ballon d’Or after his heroic form in Real Madrid’s Champions League-winning campaign.
Los Blancos beat Liverpool 1-0 in the Champions League final on Saturday night to consolidate their status as Europe’s most succesful club, claiming their 14th continental title following Vinicius Junior’s match-winner on the hour mark.
The Brazilian ultimately got his name in the headlines following that finish, while Thibaut Courtois produced a miraculous showing between the sticks that culminated in him winning the Man of the Match award, but Benzema has unquestionably been the star of the season.
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The Frenchman netted 10 goals in the knockout rounds of the Champions League as Real produced comeback wins over PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City to tee up their meeting with Liverpool in Paris — and now there is clamour for the Frenchman to be recognised by the highest honours.
Benzema is odds-on favourite to scoop this year’s Ballon d’Or after his simply ridiculous 2021/22 campaign, in which he scored 44 goals but also provided a further 15 assists as Real reclaimed La Liga by a 13-point margin and conquered Europe.
“I just wanted to say something for France Football or whoever is voting. Close the votes, Benzema won it. Bye,” Thierry Henry said during his commentary for CBS Sports.
|Karim Benzema favourite||4/11 with Paddy Power|
|Other contenders||Paddy Power|
|Virgil van Dijk||25/1|
|Kevin De Bruyne||33/1|
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Benzema was also part of the France side that won the UEFA Nations League at the start of the season, scoring in both the semi-final and final, emphasising just how good he has been for club and country in a remarkable campaign.
Despite finally receiving the widespread plaudits that were always deserving of him but perhaps weren’t always forthcoming when bigger stars were on the books at Real, not least Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema insists he is relaxed about his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or.
“Obviously, I finished my season, now I will join up with the national team,” Benzema told Canal Plus.
“I think at club level I can’t do better. We’ll see what happens but in any case I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.”