Benzema will be crowned on Monday with his first Ballon d'Or

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Benzema will be crowned on Monday with his first Ballon d'Or

Since Zinedine Zidane embraced the Ballon d'Or in 1998, no other Frenchman had had the honor of doing so. Karim Benzema is the main favorite to take over from his mentor at Real Madrid at the ceremony that will take place this Monday. place in Paris. In the first year in three decades in which the Argentine Leo Messi is not among the candidates, Benzema is willing to become the second player to win the award since in 2008 he started & oacute; The shared hegemony between the former Barça player, today at PSG, and the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo. Only his partner, Croatian Luka Modric, winner in 2018, was able to break it so far.

The 34-year-old white attacker signed He had an extraordinary season at his club, architect of the Spanish league and the Champions League, without a doubt the most outstanding man of the most successful club, enough credentials so that no one appears in a position to make him shade. Its numbers make the 2022 one of those editions lacking in suspense and that the ceremony has some processingto make something that everyone already takes for granted a reality: 42 goals in 44 games, top scorer in the Champions League with 15 goals, underpin a candidacy without cracks.

Pending accounts

The French will pay off. so an account with an award that has not treated you well. Until last year, his best position was 16 in 2014, and in 2021, when some even included him among the favorites, he was left behind. one step from the podium. His great year has erased the stain of his conviction for complicity in blackmailing his teammate Mathieu Valbuena with a sexual video, but as the director of 'France Football', organizer of the award, Pascal Ferré, in an interview with Efe, “the Ballon d'Or is not the Nobel Peace Prize”.

The prize will be also a message for young people: for the second year in a row he will win. a 34-year-old player. In the absence of suspense about the winner, uncertainty remains about his companions on the podium, two positions for which four names are being considered.

Polish Robert Lewandowski, scorer of 52 goals, can once again be one step away from the prize, as happened last season behind Messi. Ferré recognized that he feels as a personal wound that in 2020, when he was the great favorite, the prize was not awarded due to the pandemic. The Frenchman Kylian Mbappé you should also expect. Last year, at the age of 22, he entered in the “top 10” and now it will be around the podium thanks to his 40 goals and 27 assists with Paris Saint-Germain.

Belgian Kevin de Bruyne's 15 goals and 12 assists with Manchester City, with whom he reached the semi-final of the Champions League and won The Premier, can bring him closer to the final trident, to which the Senegalese from Liverpool Sadio Mané also aspires, scorer of 22 goals and who, in addition to the European final, can boast of having won the Copa Áacute; Africa of Nations.

Putellas, for the double

Monday's ceremony, which 'France Football' has sought in recent years to cover with the glamor that it did not have. a in the past, will serve also to consecrate the best player, a prize for which the Spanish Alexia Putellas, winner of the last edition, chooses.

 Benzema will be crowned on Monday with his first Ballon d'Or

Putellas receives the Ballon d'Or

FRANCK FIFE/AFP

Also among the finalists is her compatriot Aitana Bonmatí. and her teammates at Barcelona Fridolina Rolfo (Sweden) and Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria), although they will have to count on other names such as the French Wendie Renard, winner of the Champions League with Lyon, the English Beth Mead or the German Alexandra Popp.

Another Spaniard will be left behind. see at the Chatelet theater in the French capital, the Barcelona player Gavi, a candidate for the Kopa trophy that designates the best under-21 of the year, where he aspires to replace his company & ñ; ero and compatriot Pedri. The Frenchman from Real Madrid Eduardo Camavinga, the Portuguese from PSG Nuno Mendes or the German from Bayern Munich Jamal Musiala are some of his main rivals.

For the Yashin trophy, which designates the best goalkeeper, the name of Madrid's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has many integers after his great performance in the Champions League final. Along with him are, among others, the Brazilians Alisson (Liverpool) and Ederson (Manchester City), the Slovenian Jan Oblak (Atlético de Madrid) or the Moroccan Yassine Bounou (Seville).