Zinedine Zidane backs Karim Benzema to win Ballon d’Or

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has urged voters to choose Karim Benzema as their pick to win the upcoming Ballon d’Or.

Despite Real’s mixed form over the past few seasons, Benzema has kept his individual level at the highest standard. He bagged 30 goals and nine assists last season under Zidane, before elevating his game even further with a return of ten goals in his first ten games of the current campaign.

The Frenchman has been quietly playing at another level for a while now, and speaking to Telefoot, Zidane admitted that he wants to see Benzema given the praise he deserves at the Ballon d’Or ceremony.

“Benzema deserves to win this Ballon d’Or,” Zidane said. “He’s an incredible player, one which I had the great honour of training.

“He can do everything on the pitch. He is on top of the world, and I hope that he will be recognised with this Ballon d’Or.”

Speaking to the same outlet, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted Benzema deserves to pick up the prize, but questioned whether his lack of team success with Real Madrid and France – the Nations League trophy won with the latter this month was his first since the 2019/20 La Liga title – would work against him.

“There are no untouchables this year,” Wenger said of the prize race. “In his individual performances and consistency, Benzema is at a top level. The question is, does the weight of trophies play a decisive role?”

Benzema is expected to do well in the Ballon d’Or race but faces competition for the prize from the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho, while usual suspect Lionel Messi is on the hunt for his seventh prize.

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