REAL MADRID

Benzema has his eyes set on this year's Ballon d'Or

In an interview with 'Canal + France', the Real Madrid forward said that he sees himself in with a shout of winning the award. !I'm getting closer".

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Benzema has his eyes set on this year's Ballon d'Or
MIGUEL MEDINA AFP

Karim Benzema sees himself in with a decent chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. Winning the award is his dream, as he himself admitted in his recent exclusive for AS, and his figures back him up. With Real Madrid, he has scored 10 goals and created seven so far this season (in 10 games) which underline his great moment of form. On top of that, he played a key part in guiding France to win the Nations League - his strike against Spain in the final was elected the best goal of the tournament. Fabio Cannavaro, Didier Deschamps and Ronaldo Nazario are among those who have backed Benzema's bid for the Ballon d'Or, and now the player himself has spoken about his chances.

"Right now, I don't think I'm too far off," he replied when the subject was raised in an interview with Canal + France which will be broadcast in full on Tuesday. "It's one of the many dreams I had when I was a boy. Of course I still dream about winning it. All of my idols, from R9 (Ronaldo Nazario) to Zizou came to Real Madrid and won the Ballon d'Or. These are the small things which I think about," he explained.

Merits and challenges ahead

His main rivals, who he features alongside on the front cover of today's L'Équipe, are Lewandowski, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jorginho. All of them have sufficient merits to win the award - as does Karim. But what he lacks is silverware, he's only won the Nations League, but has compensated for that with some superb individual performances - not just for Real Madrid but also for France since his return to the national team. His four goals at last summer's Euro 2020 saved France from greater embarassment.

It won't be easy for Benzema to end up lifting the award, but his objective isn't to come within a whisker of winning it, like Franck Ribéry and Antoine Griezmann. His compatriots ended on the podium but were left without the main prize.If successful, he would follow on from Zidane, the last French player to win it, back in 1998. There is just over a month for Benzema to make his case. On 29 November we will find out who the winner is. In the meantime, all of the candidates in the running will be staking their claim...