Brazilian legend and former La Liga striker Rivaldo believes Karim Benzema will be one of the main contenders for the 2022 Ballon d’Or if Real Madrid win the Spanish league and reach the UEFA Champions League final.
Los Blancos booked their place in the Champions League last four after beating Chelsea 5-4 on aggregate in the quarter-finals. Benzema played for the La Liga giants, scoring four goals over two legs.
The Frenchman has been in fine form for Real Madrid this season, scoring 38 goals and providing 13 assists in 38 appearances in all competitions. His performances for Carlo Ancelotti’s side saw him become an early favorite for this year’s Ballon d’Or.
Rivaldo has expressed his joy at being able to enjoy Benzema’s best performance for Real Madrid this season. The Brazilian legend is of the opinion that Los Blancos perform better with the 34-year-old on the pitch. He wrote in his Betfair column:
“Real Madrid worked hard to eliminate European champions Chelsea and eventually achieved their objective after falling behind in the draw, however, those clashes lasted 180 minutes and the team still had time to backtrack.”
“Benzema was once again crucial in his team’s victory and if the club manages to confirm the Spanish league title and reach the Champions League final, the French striker will certainly be ahead in the fight. for the Ballon d’Or in 2022.”
“He’s a great player who is going through a fantastic phase in terms of confidence and it shows on the pitch. It’s a pleasure to see Benzema playing at such a high level and Real Madrid are growing with him on the pitch.”
Players’ performances in the 2022 World Cup could also be considered for this year’s Ballon d’Or. Benzema will therefore be looking to impress with France in Qatar in November and December.
How has Benzema fared in the Ballon d’Or rankings before?
Benzema joins Los Blancos from French club Olympique Lyon for an initial sum of €35m in 2009. The Frenchman has since established himself as a key player for the La Liga giants and one of the best strikers in the world.
The 34-year-old has played a total of 597 games for Real Madrid over the past 13 years. He scored 317 goals and provided 157 assists during the process.
Despite his contributions, Benzema has never finished in the top three of the Ballon d’Or rankings. The Frenchman finished fourth at the 2021 Ballon d’Or ceremony, behind Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho. However, he should set the record straight this time around.