The Brazilian is all praise for his rival on a terrific individual campaign
With 43 goals from as many games, the Frenchman has enjoyed the most productive season of his career, guiding Los Blancos to a La Liga and Spanish Supercup double so far.
His prolific goalscoring form has also helped the Spanish giants reach the UEFA Champions League final, scoring 10 goals in the knockouts, tying Cristiano Ronaldo’s record.
The 34-year-old is billed as a favourite for this year’s Golden Ball, and winning the Champions League title on May 28 will further bolster his chances. Alves, Benzema’s long-time Clasico rival, has admitted that the forward would be fully deserving of the honour. In an interview with Marca, he said:
“He is earning it, because he has taken Real Madrid to places that in terms of level of play and in other facets, they weren’t at before. He has dragged them forward; he is deserving of it.”
Benzema is leading the scoring charts in La Liga with 26 goals, the UEFA Champions League with 15. He is also leading the Spanish top flight’s assists charts with 11 (level with Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele).
Benzema’s 15 goals in Europe are tied with Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski for the third-most prolific tally in a single Champions League campaign. He’ll need to score twice in the final to equal Ronaldo’s record, though.
With five more games remaining in their 2021-22 campaign, Benzema has time to bag a few more goals and possibly hit the 50-goal mark across competitions.
He has been Real Madrid’s most consistent performer in the post-Ronaldo era, bagging a glut of goals to successfully transition from a support cast to a leading man.
Real Madrid star Karim Benzema’s best chance to win Ballon d’Or?
Benzema has never finished inside the Ballon d’Or’s top three, with his fourth-place finish for last year being his best return yet. However, with such an incredible campaign this year, the Frenchman is rightfully the leading candidate for this year’s coveted prize.
Bayern Munich ace Robert Lewandowski, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and PSG star Kylian Mbappe have also had prolific campaigns and are in the fray.
However, where Benzema holds the aces is the Champions League. He has been phenomenal in the big games, and without him, Real Madrid would’ve had their task cut out.