Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti responds to calls for Karim Benzema to win Ballon d'Or
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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti responds to calls for Karim Benzema to win Ballon d’Or

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has again backed Karim Benzema to win this year’s Ballon d’Or after he scored in the 2-0 UEFA Super Cup win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Last season’s Champions League winners found it difficult to get into their rhythm early on against Frankfurt, who lifted last season’s Europa League, but broke the deadlock through David Alaba after Benzema had initially risen highest to flick on a header from a set piece.

The Frenchman then put the game to bed in the second half, collecting Vinicius Junior’s pass before easily sliding the ball home beyond Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.

The win marked the fourth time Ancelotti has won the Super Cup as a manager – a new record – but the attention was once again focused on the performance of Benzema, who continues to go from strength to strength in a Real Madrid shirt.

The favourite to win this year’s Ballon d’Or, Benzema received full backing from Ancelotti after the game – with the Italian questioning if there is even a debate to be had over who should win the most coveted prize in football.

“Karim Benzema is a leader,” Ancelotti told Movistar. “If we’re here, it’s partly because of him. He scored a lot of goals. Now for the Ballon d’Or… Are there any doubts? I don’t think anyone has doubts about that.”

“For us he’s the most important player, he’s the most efficient player in the world in this moment,” Ancelotti added in his post-match news conference. “He was important to win the Champions League. He didn’t score in the final but with his goals, we played the final.

“He scored against Manchester City, against Chelsea, against Paris Saint-Germain. He’s so important for us, there’s no doubt that at this moment he’s the best.”

Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 games for Real Madrid in all competitions during 2021/22, leading the side to La Liga and Champions League glory. He is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, but came just fourth in the voting for the 2021 Ballon d’Or award.

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