No other French player has been able to replicate that achievement since Cincinnati won the Ballon d’Or in 1998, the most prestigious individual award in football. However, fans are hopeful that Real Madrid’s French striker Karim Benzema will be among those considered for the award this year.
The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from the club was a setback for Real Madrid, but Benzema has been instrumental in filling the gap. Former Real Madrid coach Zidane, who has been instrumental in Benzema’s recent form for Real Madrid for the past few years and for France since his return to the national team, says the Frenchman deserves the Ballon d’Or.
“Benzema deserves it. He is an incredible player. It is a great honor to be able to coach Benzema. He knows what to do on the field. Above all, I think he will win the Ballon d’Or.” Zidane told Telefoot.
In addition to Zidane, former France coach Arsene Wenger has also suggested that Benzema deserves this year’s Ballon d’Or. Wenger said Benzema is “above all others” in terms of personal excellence and consistent performance, although he does not have a single player in mind to win the award this year.