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Can Karim Benzema Win The Ballon D’Or & World Cup Golden Boot in the same year?

On Monday evening, Karim Benzema became the first French football player to win the Ballon D’Or since Zinedine Zidane in 1998.

The Ballon D’Or is an annual award that honours one player that is classed, by football journalists, as the best performing throughout the previous season. 

The award has been won a staggering 12 times in the last 13 years it has been presented by either Lionel Messi (7 times) or Cristiano Ronaldo (5 times) with Luka Modric being the only player to break the trend by picking up the award back in 2018.

However, as the Messi vs Ronaldo era draws somewhat to a close, we’ll likely see a selection of different players claim the trophy in the years to come.

That said, Karim Benzema, who turns 35 after this year’s World Cup final, had a season that would match that of both Messi and Ronaldo in their prime. 

Benzema added a fifth Champions League trophy to his cabinet after his side beat Liverpool in the final in Paris back in May. He also won the La Liga title with Real Madrid for the fourth time, scoring 27 league goals in the process, not to mention 15 goals in 12 European matches. He was an integral part of Real Madrid’s success last season with perhaps the highlight of his campaign being his 17-minute hat-trick against PSG after being 1-0 down to send his side through to the quarter-finals.

Benzema World Cup Golden Boot

Like past Ballon D’Or winners such as Messi, Ronaldo and Modric, this will likely be Benzema’s final appearance in a World Cup tournament for his nation given that he turns 35 this year.

Other than winning the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in 2004 and the UEFA Nations League in 2020/21, Karim Benzema hasn’t achieved many honours for his country. He was absent from the national squad from October 2015 until the European Championships in 2021 and so didn’t play a part in their World Cup victory back in 2018. 

However, although Didier Deschamps’s squad has yet to be confirmed, Benzema will be confident of travelling to Qatar with the team and will look to challenge for a place in the starting eleven alongside Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele ahead of the likes of Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Christopher Nkunku.

Given the form that the French forward has been in over the last 12 months, the bookies have Benzema as their third favourite to pick up the Golden Boot award at the 2022 World Cup at odds of 14/1. He’s ahead of strong Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who are both priced at 14/1. Only fellow teammate Kylian Mbappe (9/1) and England’s Harry Kane (8/1), who scored the most goals at the 2018 World Cup, are more favoured.

If Benzema is gifted a place in France’s starting eleven from the beginning, there’s every chance that we could see him add to his tally of 37 goals for his country.

France were drawn into Group D along with Australia, Denmark and Tunisia and so there will surely be opportunities in front of goal for the French forwards.

Didier Deschamps is set to announce his World Cup squad on 9th November with France starting eleven being revealed closer to kick-off their opening match against Australia on 22nd November.