Paris, Oct 11 (EFE).- Forward Karim Benzema has been tipped to become the first Frenchman to win the Ballon d’Or in over two decades, after nine previous nominations.
The 33-year-old proved as important at the international as he is for Real Madrid, playing a pivotal role in France’s Nations League success, his maiden title with Les Bleus.
He was ruled out of the national team between 2015 and 2021 over his alleged role in blackmailing Mathieu Valbuen, missing out the chance to be part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup winners.
Back for the Euro 2020, he became the most decisive in the team especially at the Nations League, where he led France’s comeback against Belgium and Spain in the semifinal and final respectively.
The Nations League triumph is the cherry on top of “two great years” for the Frenchman, L’Équipe reported, adding that the trophy was not awarded last year, possibly his best, due to the pandemic.
The six goals he has scored since his international return are arguments for Le Parisien, which put him side by side with Lionel Messi in the race for the prestigious award.
The Ballon d’Or, awarded by the French Football magazine based on the votes of 180 journalists, has not been kind to the Frenchman, who came 16th in 2014, his best results in nine nominations.
But since he was first nominated in 2008, when he obtained zero votes, the Frenchman has lacked an international title of which he now boasts and could boost his chances of winning the award. EFE