Ballon d’Or. How Karim Benzema became one of the favorites. Sport

At 33, Karim Benzema again splashed the football world with his talent in the League of Nations, won by the France team on Sunday night against Spain (2-1). A first trophy raised in selection which could open wide the doors of the Ballon d’Or, the most coveted individual title. His tenth nomination could be the right one, 23 years after Zinedine Zidane, the last French to have won it.

An exceptional 2021 calendar year

For this, the former Lyonnais has solid arguments. Karim Benzema in 2021, it is a League of Nations won with the Blues, 34 goals, 13 assists in 48 games with Real and the selection. He is also a Champions League semi-finalist, 8e of finalist of the Euro and second of the championship of Spain.

photo of a superb curling shot, benzema allowed the france team to equalize against spain.  © reuters

With a superb curling shot, Benzema allowed the France team to equalize against Spain. © REUTERS

If the world champions missed their Euro, Benzema did very well by scoring four goals. Another argument in its favor, “KB9” marks the spirits at the right time. His two very important goals in the final four of the League of Nations will still be in the minds when journalists around the world have to vote.

Less competition

For a long time, the contenders for the Ballon d’Or clashed with two monsters of world football: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Franck Ribéry, author of an exceptional season with Bayern Munich in 2013, notably by winning the Champions League, had paid the price by finishing only third. But this year, the Portuguese and the Argentine are far from the level shown in previous seasons, even though Lionel Messi won the Copa America with Argentina.

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The Real Madrid forward will therefore probably have to look to Italy to find a serious competitor, in the person of Jorginho. The latter won the Champions League with Chelsea and the European Championship with Italy.

But the number of his compatriots present in the nominees (Donnarumma, Bonucci, Chiellini, Barella) could scatter the votes and serve the cause of the Frenchman. To a lesser extent, Robert Lewandowski can also claim the supreme award, he who won the European gold shoe.

Support from Spain

Karim Benzema also has major supporters in Spain, including that of the influential Real Madrid, who did not hesitate Sunday night to ask for the Ballon d’Or for his strongman.

Like the Spanish daily Marca, which found it to be currently unrivaled. Finally, the future Ballon d’Or must also set an example in the field. Benzema fulfills this criterion perfectly, he who has taken only 6 yellow cards for six years.

Answer on November 29.