Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan picks his favorite to win the Ballon d’Or 2022
The 2022 Ballon d’Or award has started gaining attention lately following some amazing performances from a couple of players in recent weeks. The award will be handed out in October this year.
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan already has his pick for the coveted prize this year. It is none other than Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
The Frenchman has raised his stock significantly since finishing fourth in the race for the Ballon d’Or last year.
So far this season, Karim Benzema has bagged 39 goals and 13 assists for Los Blancos across all competitions. Gundogan believes the 34-year-old is the best striker in world football right now alongside Robert Lewandowski.
The German told RT1 (via Eurosport):
“Right now, for me, Benzema is, along with [Robert] Lewandowski, the best striker in the world.”“He’s good with both feet, good in the air…I think he was underrated in the past and now he is proving his critics were wrong.”
Karim Benzema has been the leader at Real Madrid since Cristiano Ronaldo departed in the summer of 2018. This has prompted many to assert the claim that the Frenchman was playing under the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s shadow during their time together at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Gundogan shares the same thoughts. The Manchester City midfielder believes Benzema is finally getting the credit he deserves, especially from the media. According to the German, the striker has done enough to be crowned the best player in the world this year.
The former Borussia Dortmund player said:
“For a long time he was in Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow, especially in the press, but now he’s getting the attention and credit he deserves.””His achievements speak for themselves. Benzema has everything it takes to win the Ballon d’Or.”
Who else could rival Benzema in the race for the Ballon d’Or 2022?
The striker has bagged seven goals in his last three Champions League games
As it stands, the closest candidate to Benzema in the Ballon d’Or race has to be Bayern Munich sharpshooter Robert Lewandowski. The Polish forward has bagged the most goals across all competitions so far this season, with a whopping 48 efforts to his name in 43 appearances.
Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah isn’t far behind as he’s contributed 30 goals and 13 assists for the Reds in as many games.
Additionally, the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Kevin De Bruyne and Sadio Mane have also impressed in recent months. They will definitely fancy their chances for a shot at football’s most coveted individual honor.