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Ronaldo insists Benzema 'deserves' Ballon d'Or nod & labels Real Madrid Champions League favourites

16:51 BST 12/04/2022
Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2021-22
The former World Cup winner believes that the France attacker is a worthy recipient of the biggest individual prize in football for his talents

Karim Benzema "deserves the Ballon d'Or", says former Real Madrid and Brazil great Ronaldo, who has backed Los Blancos to add to their collection of Champions League crowns with the Frenchman up front.

The striker has been one of the standout performers of the 2021-22 season, helping to drive Carlo Ancelotti's side towards reclaiming their domestic crown in La Liga, with the sometimes controversial figure now back in the national team fold too after his lengthy omission.

Ex-World Cup winner Ronaldo, who won Liga and Supercopa de Espana titles during his time at Santiago Bernabeu, believes that his former side are favourites ahead of their quarter-final second leg against Chelsea - and believes that Benzema is worthy of lifting football's biggest individual accolade too.

What has been said?

"For the European Cup, Real Madrid are the favorites,” Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia. "Then they have Ancelotti on the bench, who is one of the best in the world.

"Benzema? He deserves the Ballon d’Or, I’ve been saying it for years and they’ve criticised me, but he deserves it, he’s a great striker."

Benzema's Ballon d'Or standing

Underperforming seasons for regular contenders Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo means the biggest prize a player can win on their own merit in football is likely up for grabs this term,

Bayern Munich and Poland star Robert Lewandowski was GOAL's favourite in our Power Rankings, after losing to the Argentine last season and missing out the year before due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But Benzema has now usurped him atop the pile following his Champions League heroics against Chelsea, with the forward at the heart of last week's rout at Stamford Bridge.

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