R9 backed | Ronaldo weighs in on his vote for this years Ballon d’Or

The two-time winner backs Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema after the French international embarked on a superlative calendar year for the Spanish and European champions

The 2022 Ballon d’Or is sure to provide talking points for days and weeks to come as some of football’s biggest stars have gathered at the Theatre du Chalet in Paris on the annual prestigious award evening to recognize the individual achievements of both men’s and women’s football.

Neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will claim the illustrious prize for just the second time since 2008, with Real Madrid’s Luka Modrić the only player to successfully work his way between the iconic figures back in 2018.

With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Sadio Mané, Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappé, Mohamed Salah, and the aforementioned Modrić all in the top ten, one man is expected above all others to claim the top individual award in the footballing calendar; Karim Benzema.

The 34-year-old France international produced a dazzling calendar year in 2022 that ultimately would include four major honors with Real Madrid after the Spanish giants took home their 35th La Liga title, 14th Champions League win, 5th UEFA Super Cup, and 12th Supercopa de España, with Benzema’s goal return on all fronts leading the charge.

By the end of service, the Lyon native ended the 2021-22 season with 44 goals across 46 appearances in all competitions, and his strike rate in the Champions League of 15 goals in 12 outings was, in a word, sublime.

For two-time-winner Ronaldo (1997, 2002), there is no player more deserving.

“I am pretty sure that Karim will win. He played an amazing season the last season. I think he deserves this price.”

“Yeah [when asked if Benzema is the type of striker he likes], of course, I miss the number nine to win this prize. Our position is very important to football and Karim expressed what is important to be a striker.”

Though Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland both had sensational campaigns, Benzema was truly in a world of his own in 2022, and should he somehow not take home football’s biggest individual honors, questions will undoubtedly be asked regarding the voting process once again.

Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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