Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has backed star striker Karim Benzema to be in contention for the Ballon d’Or after his exploits over the past year.

Speaking to the media earlier this week, as relayed by ESPN, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has claimed that superstar Karim Benzema deserves to be considered for the Ballon d’Or award this year.

Benzema has easily been the best player for Real Madrid in the past year and half. The 33-year-old French striker enjoyed a brilliant 2020/21 campaign during which he produced a tally of 30 goals and 9 assists in 46 games across all competitions. On the back of his form, the forward forced his way back into the French national team and enjoyed a productive Euro 2020, scoring four goals in four games.

Benzema has only managed to take his game a level up in the new season, having already plundered eight goals and seven assists from just seven La Liga matches in 2021/22. The 33-year-old was sensational in the 6-1 win over Mallorca earlier in the week, which prompted Ancelotti to suggest that he should be in contention for the Ballon d’Or this year.

“Yes, I think for what he’s doing and what he did last season, [Benzema] has to be on the list of players who could win the Ballon d’Or,” the Italian tactician said.

Karim Benzema for Ballon d'Or? (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Karim Benzema for Ballon d’Or? (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

However, he did go on to add that the Real Madrid superstar still has time on his side to win the prestigious honour, claiming that the French international is ageing like fine wine. “Having said that, Karim has time to win it. I don’t think this will be his last season. I think Karim is like wine, he gets better with age,” Ancelotti stated.

After a terrific start to the season, Benzema failed to be directly involved in a goal in Real Madrid’s draw against Villarreal on Saturday – the first time that has happened in a league game during the ongoing campaign.

Both he and Ancelotti will be hoping that it proves to be a one-off and the Frenchman is back to goalscoring ways at the earliest as they get set to face Sheriff Tiraspol in the UEFA Champions League next week, before taking on Espanyol in La Liga.

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