The French striker has emerged as a talisman for Real Madrid in recent years. Benzema helped the La Liga giants to a league triumph and UEFA Champions League success last season.
Just like every other year, there has been a lot of excitement about the Ballon d'Or after the 30-man shortlist was released earlier this month. Karim Benzema spoke directly about winning the honor for the first time with L'Equipe.
The Frenchman was coy about his response when asked about winning the Ballon d'Or this year. While he admitted his desire to win the award, he was happy to wait for the votes to come in. Karim Benzema said (via GetFrenchFootballNews):
“We’ll see what happens, we’ll wait for the votes to come in. It’s been a dream since I was little, I’m not too far away now, we’ll see what happens.”
Seven-time winner of the Ballon d'Or, Lionel Messi was a notable absentee from the 30-man shortlist. With the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar out of the equation, Benzema's chances of winning the award will have increased.
Karim Benzema's fruitful season with Real Madrid makes him a favorite for the Ballon d'Or
Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 games across all competitions for Real Madrid last season. He finished as the top scorer in La Liga with 27 goals. The Frenchman produced a return of a career-best of 15 goals in the Champions League as he guided Los Blancos to their record-extending 14th title.
Benzema also lifted the UEFA Nations League with the French national team. He is one of the few players across Europe's top five leagues who has a trophy haul and the goals to make a solid case for the Ballon d'Or.
The Frenchman was recently crowned the 2021-22 'UEFA Men's Player of the Year'. Messi has also backed Benzema to lift the Ballon d'Or this year.
The ceremony will be held on October 17 at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet. This means that the performances of players at the World Cup in November will play no part in determining who wins the award.