Paris Saint-German (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi has chosen the 2022 Ballon d'Or saying that Karim Benzema is the clear favorite for the prestigious award.
Karim Benzema’s amazing hat-trick for Real Madrid against PSG in the UEFA Champions League last season was cited by Lionel Messi as a turning point for the Frenchman in the 2021–2022 campaign.
The French striker, who finished the previous season as the competition’s leading scorer with 15 goals, was crucial to Real Madrid’s Champions League victory. Karim Benzema leads the league in scoring with 27 goals, and Real Madrid also won La Liga last year.
Speaking on TyCSports, Lionel Messi praised Benzema profusely. The French striker is a wonderful player, according to the Argentine legend, and he most definitely deserves to win the Ballon d’Or.
Messi stated: “Real Madrid’s Benzema has won the Champions League for his team. From the round of 16 on, he has always made the final decision in the games. A fantastic athlete, Benzema. The year he had was unimaginable. impressive goals for his group. Nobody has been in as good of shape as Benzema was last season.”
It’s interesting that Lionel Messi, who has won this coveted honor a record seven times, wasn’t included among the 30 names that made the shortlist for this year’s prize. The absence of Messi from the Ballon d’Or race was referred to in the Argentine press as a football insult.
Messi is the current owner of the award, but did not make the shortlist for the first time in 17 years as he had a bad season with PSG last season. Messi scored just six goals in Ligue 1 and scored five more in the Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, was shortlisted for 30 but was not the favorite as he spent a titleless season with Manchester United. Ronaldo and Messi have dominated this prestigious individual award for the past two decades, but only one player can lift the coveted individual trophy this year.
Few players can win trophies higher than Karim Benzema. The French forward played a key role in Real Madrid’s Champions League campaign, scoring in every knockout game except the first leg of the Round of 16 against PSG and the final against Liverpool.
With the FIFA World Cup set to take place later this year in Qatar, nothing is certain at the moment and the performances of the players in that tournament will also greatly affect the Golden Ball ranking.
In Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Almeria on August 15, Benzema failed to score a single goal despite being given a starting start by Italian teacher Ancelotti. The two players who scored for Los Blancos were Lucas Vazquez and David Alaba.