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HomeLa LigaHenry crowns Benzema Ballon d'Or winner after Champions League win

Henry crowns Benzema Ballon d’Or winner after Champions League win

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Thierry Henry declared the race for the Ballon d’Or over after Karim Benzema lifted the Champions League with Real Madrid on Saturday.

Following a 1-0 triumph over Liverpool at the Stade de France, Benzema became only the second French captain to claim the cup, following Didier Deschamps with Marseille in 1993.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side was mainly indebted to the heroics of Thibaut Courtois after the goalkeeper produced nine saves – a Champions League final record since Opta began recording data in 2003-04.

Vinicius Junior may have scored the winner in Paris. Still, a 14th European Cup for Madrid, double the tally of second-best Milan (seven), came down to Benzema’s efforts throughout the knockout stages.

The 34-year-old scored a hat-trick against PSG, four goals in two legs against Chelsea, and three goals in the semi-final against Manchester City, including an extra-time penalty to win the tie.

Benzema has been involved in 59 goals in all competitions this season (45 goals, 15 assists).

With only France team-mate Kylian Mbappe (60) bettering that total across Europe’s top five leagues.

And Arsenal legend Henry feels Benzema’s victory in Paris has ended the argument over who should win the Ballon d’Or this year.

“I just wanted to say something for France Football or whoever is voting. Close the votes; Benzema won it. Bye,” Henry said to CBS Sports after the final.

In November, France coach Didier Deschamps will hope Benzema can lead Les Bleus to more World Cup glory.

And he echoed Henry’s sentiments by suggesting the Madrid talisman should win the award.

Deschamps told Telefoot:

“The answer is simple: yes. This is because of this new title, and the sporting season was achieved with his team.

“And what he was able to do, he was so decisive.

“He was already one of the favourites, and he deserves this reward.”

The Ballon d’Or has been won by Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi in 13 of the past 14 seasons, barring when Benzema’s team-mate Luka Modric was named the winner in 2018.

While Benzema may believe his achievements on a personal and team level are enough to stave off Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, the Madrid forward insisted he will be satisfied either way.

“I finished my season. Now I will join the national team,” Benzema told Canal Plus.

“I think at club level, and I can’t do better. So we’ll see what happens, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.”

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Abdul Aziz Shaikh
Abdul Aziz Shaikhhttps://beyond100yards.com/
I'm a passionate football reporter who loves nothing more than to write about a beautiful game. If you're looking for the freshest, most up-to-date football news stories, then I'm your man!