Louis Saha believes “it would be a scandal” if Karim Benzema doesn’t win the 2022 Ballon d’Or following his role in Real Madrid’s La Liga and Champions League double.
Benzema registered a goal or assist every 89 minutes last season and scored 15 goals in 12 appearances in the Champions League, including hat-tricks against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.
He scored 27 goals from 32 La Liga appearances and became Real Madrid’s joint-second highest goalscorer, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo who leads the way on 405 goals to Benzema’s and Raul’s 323.
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Saha was about to be asked by Bet365 what his thoughts were on the Ballon d’Or, only to interrupt the interviewer by saying: “Karim Benzema! Sorry, Karim Benzema! No question! No question, stop there. Karim Benzema.
“There is no other players to mention here. No debate. If he doesn’t win it, I don’t think I would ever, ever look at it again. That’s it. It would be a scandal.”
Benzema is one of Real Madrid’s all-time great strikers, but he has never even been in the Ballon d'Or's top three.
Should he win, he would be the fourth French player to do so, joining Raymond Kopa, Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane. Interestingly, three of the four also played for Real Madrid.
Club president Florentino Perez has signed four previous Ballon d'Or winners for Real Madrid. Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro, Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema would make it five but Perez already has eyes on a sixth.
Perez is “certain” Benzema will win the 2022 Ballon d’Or, claiming he is “the best centre forward in the world”.
He trusts Benzema’s ability to find the back of the net so much, that he informed Real Madrid to not to pursue Erling Haaland, who has joined Manchester City, earlier this summer.
"This moment is incompatible with Haaland," said Perez.
"We were not going to recruit him to put him on the bench. One day a replacement for Benzema will come. But it won't be to sit on the bench.”
Should Benzema win the Ballon d’Or, he will become the fourth French player to do so, joining Raymond Kopa, Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane.
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The results of the Ballon d'Or will be based on results of a season rather than a calendar year for the first time in the history of the award.
The nominees will be announced on August 12, with the ceremony taking place on October 17 in Paris.
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