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Home Real Madrid And France Star Karim Benzema Wins Ballon d'Or

Real Madrid And France Star Karim Benzema Wins Ballon d’Or

France striker Karim Benzema received the Ballon d’Or at a ceremony in Paris on Monday.


For Karim Benzema, profitable probably the most prestigious particular person award in soccer is the last word recognition for his exceptional performances with Actual Madrid final season and affirmation that he’s a participant and a person remodeled since his years in exile from the French nationwide staff due to a sextape scandal.

Benzema, contemporary from scoring for Actual towards Barcelona in Sunday’s Clasico, was the overwhelming favorite to win the Ballon d’Or in Monday’s ceremony in Paris.

He’s the fifth Frenchman to say the prize, the primary since Zinedine Zidane in 1998.

His victory was seen as such a foregone conclusion in France that the entrance web page headline of newspaper Le Parisien on Monday was devoted to him. “The revenge of the unpopular one,” it stated.

It’s not way back that Benzema, now 34, was a pariah, frozen out of the France staff for 5 and a half years due to his involvement in a blackmail scandal over a sextape involving his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

The Lyon native went on trial late final 12 months and was handed a one-year suspended jail sentence and a high-quality of 75,000 euros ($73,848).

In June he determined to not attraction his conviction, keen to show the web page and hold the give attention to soccer.

By then he had accomplished a surprising season along with his membership, propelling Actual to glory within the Champions League in addition to the Spanish title.

– Astonishing season –

With the standards for the prize having been modified to solely consider the final full season, reasonably than the calendar 12 months, his performances meant there was little prospect of anybody else profitable the Ballon d’Or.

The figures converse for themselves.

Benzema scored 44 objectives in 46 video games for Actual final season, together with 27 in La Liga as he ended the marketing campaign as the highest scorer in Spain’s high flight by a distance.

However his absolute best type got here within the Champions League, during which he was additionally the main marksman with 15 objectives in 12 appearances.

Carrying the captain’s armband, Benzema scored 5 instances within the group stage for Carlo Ancelotti’s aspect, however the very best was to return within the knockout rounds.

He scored a surprising hat-trick in 17 second-half minutes within the spectacular last-16 comeback win over Paris Saint-Germain, and one other away to Chelsea within the quarter-final first leg.

It was additionally his extra-time aim within the return leg of that tie that nipped a Chelsea comeback within the bud, and he scored three extra over each legs of the semi-final towards Manchester Metropolis, together with an extra-time spot-kick within the return leg which secured Actual’s spot within the remaining.

He was not the standout participant within the remaining, with Vinicius Junior scoring the one aim of the sport, however that victory over Liverpool in Paris wouldn’t have been doable with out Benzema’s prior contribution.

The previous Lyon striker has now received 5 Champions Leagues since transferring to the Spanish capital aged 21 in 2009.

“What’s most vital to me is to win collective trophies. Should you do issues effectively on the sector, particular person awards will comply with,” Benzema identified not too long ago.

This award comes after he was named the UEFA participant of final season at a ceremony in August, for he didn’t simply get pleasure from success at membership degree.

Benzema additionally received his first worldwide title with France within the Nations League, scoring within the remaining as Les Bleus beat Spain 2-1.

– Off-field affairs –

Absent from his nation’s victorious 2018 World Cup marketing campaign, he’s now hoping to cap off an unimaginable 12 months by serving to France retain that title in Qatar -– his thirty fifth birthday is the day after the December 18 remaining.

Benzema, whose grandfather emigrated to France from Algeria, was introduced up within the Lyon suburb of Bron.

He shortly emerged as an thrilling expertise at Lyon, then France’s dominant membership, earlier than incomes a transfer to Actual the place he spent years within the shadows of Cristiano Ronaldo and was ceaselessly caught up in off-field affairs.

Earlier than the sextape scandal, he and fellow French worldwide star Franck Ribery have been swept up in a tawdry story with a prostitute named Zahia Dehar.

Nonetheless, the case towards them for allegedly having intercourse along with her when she was underage — Benzema denied ever doing so — collapsed in 2014.

But lately a much more mature Benzema has let his soccer do the speaking.

That’s the reason, in 2020, Zidane was in little doubt when requested if he thought Benzema was his nation’s best ever centre-forward.

“For me he’s clearly the very best, sure,” he stated.

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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