Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said he has no doubts that Karim Benzema deserves to win the Ballon d’Or, calling the France forward “the most efficient player in the world” after scoring in his team’s 2-0 UEFA Super Cup win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Captain Benzema scored Madrid’s second goal in the 65th minute — after David Alaba had put them ahead with a first-half header — to claim the first trophy of the season in Helsinki on Wednesday.
It was Benzema’s 324th goal for Real Madrid, taking him above club legend Raul Gonzalez into second place in their list of all-time goal scorers, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo‘s 451.
“[Benzema] is a leader,” Ancelotti told Movistar. “If we’re here, it’s partly because of him. He scored a lot of goals. Now for the Ballon d’Or… Are there any doubts? I don’t think anyone has doubts about that.”
Benzema, 34, is favourite to win the Ballon d’Or later this year after scoring 27 goals in LaLiga last season — and 15 in the Champions League — to fire Madrid to the double.
“For us he’s the most important player, he’s the most efficient player in the world in this moment,” Ancelotti said in his post-match news conference. “He was important to win the Champions League. He didn’t score in the final but with his goals, we played the final.
“He scored against [Manchester] City, against Chelsea, against Paris [Saint-Germain]. He’s so important for us, there’s no doubt that at this moment he’s the best.”
President Florentino Perez agreed that Benzema — who is beginning his 14th season at Real Madrid — would be a worthy winner of football’s top individual prize.
“From my point of view, he already deserved [the Ballon d’Or] last year, and this year even more,” he told Movistar.
Perez also suggested that Madrid would not look to bring in a forward before the transfer window closes, despite missing out on Kylian Mbappe.
“Right now we aren’t contemplating anything else,” he said. “Look at all the forwards we have. We have so many forwards that if [Benzema gets ill] it won’t notice.”