Real Madrid and France striker Karim Benzema The seven-time winner of the prestigious award said he deserved to win the Ballon d’Or this year after helping lead his team to the Champions League title. Lionel Messi on Monday.
Benzema had the best season of his 13-year career with Real Madrid, scoring 44 goals with 15 assists in all competitions as he won the LaLiga Champions League double.
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The 34-year-old topped the scoring charts in both competitions and scored a hat-trick against PSG and Chelsea in the knockout stages to secure Real Madrid’s lead.
“There is no doubt about it, it is very clear that Benzema had a great year and ended up winning the Champions League,” Messi told Argentine television.
“He has been a starter in all the matches from the round of 16 onwards. I think there is no doubt this year.”
The Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best soccer player will be presented on October 17, with the nominees revealed on August 12.
The trophy will now be awarded on a regular season basis from August to July rather than a calendar year.
Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Liverpool gave them their 14th European Cup victory – twice as much as the next most successful team, AC Milan.
Benzema’s hat-trick in the second leg eliminated Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 on aggregate in the last 16, but once again prevented the French club from winning the elite European Championship for the first time.
Messi added: “The Real Madrid match killed me and everyone in the dressing room. We had a lot of hope. It makes me want to win again.”
“But the best team doesn’t always win the Champions League. I don’t lose credit from Real Madrid; they weren’t the best in this competition and yet they beat everyone.”
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