KARIM BENZEMA SETS SIGHTS ON BALLON D'OR AND WC AFTER WINNING UEFA PRIZE

Karim Benzema scored an astonishing 44 goals in 46 games for Real last season, including 27 in LaLiga as he ended the campaign as the top scorer in Spain's top flight by a distance Istanbul: For Karim Benzema, the UEFA men’s player of the year prize is unlikely to be the last recognition he receives for his role in Real Madrid’s memorable run to Champions League glory last season.

The Ballon d’Or will surely follow in October, before he heads to the World Cup in Qatar with France in November and December with the aim of completing a truly remarkable career Renaissance. It is not long ago that Benzema, who will turn 35 the day after the World Cup final in December, was a pariah, frozen out of the France team for five and a half years because of his involvement in a blackmail scandal over a sextape involving his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena.




SIX LIVERPOOL PLAYERS NOMINATED FOR THE 2022 BALLON D'OR AWARD

The shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or award was released yesterday and it includes the names of six Liverpool players. The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by French news magazine France Football since 1956. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Diaz, Fabinho, Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk all appear on the 30-man shortlist. Sadio Mané is also on the list.

Alisson Becker has received a nomination for the 2022 Yashin Trophy, which is the award given to the best goalkeeper. Despite having an incredible campaign for the Reds, Alisson didn’t qualify for the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.




Ronaldo To Raise The Stakes After Retiring

Cristiano Ronaldo may have missed out on the Ballon d’Or this year, but he’s still going strong in the English Premier League.

The attacker, who many believe is one of the best soccer players ever, will grace the World Cup this season, his fifth appearance at the finals. He’ll likely play, joining Rafael Marquez, Lothar Matthaus and Antonio Carbajal as someone who has been picked for, and played in, five World Cup tournaments.




2022 BALLON D'OR NOMINEES UNVEILED; PSG STAR MESSI ABSENT FOR THE FIRST TIME

Argentine football superstar Lionel Messi was not among the nominees for the Ballon d’Or for the first time as the list that was revealed Friday included Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah.

France Football magazine announced on their website the 30 players vying for the prestigious award in 2022. Also known as Golden Ball Award, the Ballon d’Or is given to the sport’s best player. Messi, 35, a Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward, has won the award a record seven times, including in 2021.




BENZEMA SCORES FIRST PRE-SEASON GOAL

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema scored his first pre-season this summer during the friendly clash with Mexican side Club America. The 2022 FIFA Ballond'orfavourite scored one of the goals for his team in a 2-2 draw with Club America.It was the first game of pre-season for Benzema.

Frenchman Benzema was absent for the first pre-seasongame of the summer for Real Madrid. He was a major absentee as Real Madrid were beaten 1-0 by arch rivals Barcelonawhen the two teams at the Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada in the United States (US).




EL CLASICO: LEWANDOWSKI MAKES BARCELONA DEBUT

Polish international Robert Lewandowski has made his debut for new club Barcelona following his transfer from German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich. Two-time FIFA Ballond'or winner Lewandowski had one year left on his current deal with the German Bundesliga outfit before he left the club to join Barcelona.

Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world and he has won the FIFA Ballond'or on two occasions. He won the FIFA Ballond'orfor the first time in 2020 and then retained the award last year. Bayern Munich officials were keen to retain theservices of Lewandowski, but the reigning FIFA Ballond'or winner said he's keen topursue a dream move to Barcelona. The former Lech Poznan and Borussia Dortmund star eventually got his transfer to Barcelona.




MANE COMPLETES BAYERN MUNICH TRANSFER

Senegalese international star Sadio Mane has completed his transfer from Liverpool to German side Bayern Munich after he was unveiled on Wednesday. The FIFA Ballond'or contender underwent his medical at Bayern Munich on Tuesday as part of his transfer to the Allianz Arena.

Liverpool and Bayern Munich had earlier agreed a transfer fee for the FIFA Ballond'or contender at the end of last week.

Liverpool and Bayern Munich agreed a fee worth €32m plus €9m in add-ons for Mane to sign for the Bavarian giants. €6m of the add-ons is based on appearances, while other €3m is based on individual and team achievements. The Reds turned down two bids for Mane before the third bid was accepted for him to leave Liverpool for the Allianz Arena. The FIFA Ballond'or contender had a year left on his Liverpool contract before signing for the Germans.




UCL: BENZEMA BOOSTS BALLON D'OR BID

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has boosted his FIFA Ballond'or bid after winning the UEFA Champions League (UCL) title with his team. The Frenchman led the attack as Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the final in Paris to win the competition for the 14th time.

With the UCL win in Paris, Benzema is now the overwhelming favourite to win the FIFA Ballond'or. The ex-Lyon striker was unable to score against Liverpool during the final which ended in a 1-0 win for Real Madrid. However, ending on the winning side has made him the favourite to win the award at the end of the year.




FA/CUP: MANE BOOSTS BALLON D'OR BID

Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane has boosted his bid to win the FIFA Ballond'or this year after he played a part in the FA Cup title triumph enjoyed by his team on Saturday. Senegalese international Mane is one of the major contenders for the FIFA Ballond'or as he has had a phenomenal year. The other major contenders for the FIFA Ballond'or this year are Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) attacker KylianMbappe.

Mane began the year by winning the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Cameroon. He scored the winning penalty as his Senegal team beat Egypt on penalties in the final. The Liverpool forward was the main man for Senegal at the AFCON tournament.




FIFA BALLON D'OR 2022: THIS IS KARIM BENZEMA'S YEAR

Football pundits are convinced that 2022 will likely be Karim Benzema's year to finally win the prestigious Ballon d'Or trophy. He is having a phenomenal season with Real Madrid, and the clamour for him to win the prize is starting to grow even if the awarding itself is still several months away.

Real Madrid need to score only just a single point from their remaining five games to claim the La Liga Santander title. This seems inevitable, and a league title coupled with the Spanish Super Cup will give Benzema a lot of leverage when it comes to the Ballon d'Or selection. On top of that, even if Real Madrid does not eventually win the UEFA Champions League, which they still can, the Frenchman has recorded some of his most outstanding performances to date in the competition.




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