It’s been 13 years since Karim Benzema first set foot in the Spanish city, and he’s now the obvious favorite to win the Ballon d’Or in 2022.
The 34-year-old striker has 320 goals in 600 games for Real Madrid, winning 20 titles during his stint with the club. After a decade of being overshadowed by Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema has finally taken over as the team’s leader.
In the hunt for the Ballon d’Or, Benzema is up against players like Kevin De Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe, Mohamed Salah, and Robert Lewandowski.
If Benzema wins the aforementioned prize, a condition in his contract will be triggered, and he will receive a sizable bonus.
Benzema and Real Madrid considered renewing his current contract, which runs until 2023, during their most recent conversations.
They agreed to wait and observe how his body responded in the coming months. Real Madrid believes that Benzema should be awarded the Ballon d’Or.
The Frenchman has never even made it onto the podium for the accolade, finishing fourth behind Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, and Jorginho in the previous edition.
Real Madrid might win La Liga Santander this weekend, ahead of the return leg of their Champions League semi-final showdown against Manchester City next week.
Benzema is the top scorer in LaLiga Santander this season with 25 goals, and has 14 goals in Europe, with almost 40 goals and 13 assists in all competitions so far this season.
Benzema is presently third in the European Golden Boot competition, behind Lewandowski and Ciro Immobile, after winning the UEFA Nations League with France.
Because of his popularity in Spain and Europe, the Frenchman is usually considered the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or.
This year, only journalists from the top one hundred countries in the FIFA rankings will vote, and individual performance will be prioritised over collective achievements and sportsmanship.
L’Equipe believes he is the frontrunner, but Real Madrid has been clamouring for his recognition in recent years.
Meanwhile, Benzema will pass Raul Gonzalez (323 goals) as Real Madrid’s all-time leading scorer if he scores four more goals.
Benzema is regarded as the best striker in the world, according to Ronaldo Nazario, Rio Ferdinand, and Mesut Ozil.
When Carlo Ancelotti returned to Real Madrid for his second spell, he discovered a totally different Benzema.
When he looked at him, he saw a more mature athlete who was more responsible and capable of bringing his teammates together to achieve success.