After winning his second piece of silverware Saturday in the form of a Champions League title, Karim Benzema’s case for the Ballon d’Or is growing. He was held scoreless in the final, after having a goal ruled out for offside, but his 15 goals in Champions League play were only two off the record of 17. They weren’t empty goals for stat padding either as nine of of them were scored after the 60th minutes in Champions League play to help Real Madrid claw back into games.
Thierry Henry knows a thing or two about the Ballon d’Or having finished as the runner up in both 2003 and 2006 and the CBS Sports pundit had some strong words to say about Benzema’s case for the award this year. “I just wanted to say something to France or whoever is voting [on the Ballon d’Or]. Close the votes, Benzema won it. Bye,” he said.
In a season where Benzema has won La Liga scoring 27 goals and assisting 12 more while also being involved in 17 Champions League goals, Henry has a point. Given that the World Cup won’t take place until November, after the October 17th vote on the award, it’s hard to see how anybody else will accomplish enough to hold a candle to Benzema. He just knocked out two of his closest competitors in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the Champions League final. It will be hard to compare someone else to Benzema’s sheer output.