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Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been backed to win back-to-back Ballon d’Or trophies by manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The manager’s comments come after the star netted a stunning hat trick in Madrid’s 4-0 Copa del Rey semi-final second leg win against fierce rivals Barcelona on Wednesday.
And that hat trick came immediately after a La Liga hat trick against Real Valladolid on Sunday. Benzema now boasts 25 goals from his 31 Real Madrid matches in all competitions this season.
He has banged in 14 La Liga goals, with three Champions League goals and four Copa del Rey goals. The legendary figure also netted two Supercopa goals, as well as scoring once in the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup.
Real Madrid boss backs Benzema for success
The forward lifted the famous Ballon d’Or trophy for the first time in 2022, preventing Argentine icon Lionel Messi from winning it for the third year in a row.
Second-placed Sadio Mane and third-placed Kevin De Bruyne didn’t get close to the Madrid star in the voting process, and Ancelotti believes history could repeat itself in 2023 with another Ballon d’Or for his star striker.
“Why not?” said Ancelotti, as quoted by LiveScore. “He remains one of the best players in the world – and not just attacking players.”
Benzema in stunning form
Benzema is enjoying another sensational season for his club, but the forward has been on fire particularly in 2023.
He boasts 19 goals in 19 games since the 2022 World Cup, with his back-to-back hat tricks coming immediately after the recent international break.
Benzema announced his retirement from the France team in December, with Ancelotti noting that the striker was hard at work on the training ground as his nation competed in their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign last month.
“The work he did during the international break helped him a lot,” Ancelotti added. “He is in prime physical condition. With the qualities he has, he inevitably makes a difference for us.”
Real Madrid ace for Ballon d’Or?
At 35, Benzema is showing no signs of slowing down, with the Real Madrid man firing his side into the Copa del Rey final against Osasuna, which is scheduled for this time next month.
He is also doing his best to ensure Real Madrid keep the pressure on Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table. The Catalan outfit do, however, boast a 12-point lead, and look certain to lift the trophy under Xavi this season.
Even if Benzema was to clinch another Ballon d’Or, he would still remain way off Barcelona and Argentina legend Messi, who has been awarded the honour a stunning seven times in his phenomenal career.
Benzema’s former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award five times, with Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten all clinching the honour three times.
Liverpool have witnessed Benzema’s success in the final third up close in the Champions League this season, with the Real Madrid icon keen to do something similar when they take on Chelsea in the quarter-finals later this month.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) April 6, 2023
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