Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid, his former strike partner, Karim Benzema, has enjoyed a new lease of life.
No longer being the foil for the Portuguese, the Frenchman has been able to show off his enviable skill set to its fullest.
It’s no coincidence that the goals continue to flow freely and Benzema remains an important cog in the Los Blancos wheel for Carlo Ancelotti.
Indeed, per transfermarkt, he’s already scored 10 goals and provided seven assists in just 10 games this season.
His inclusion in the final 30 for France Football’s Ballon d’Or award, per L’Equipe, was a foregone conclusion considering his long-term excellence.
It’s an award that the centre-forward still harbours ambitions of winning, even if time might be running out for him.
“I’ve been dreaming of winning the Ballon d’Or since I was a kid, it’s a dream that all of us footballers have,” he said to AS, cited by Get French Football News.
“It’s true that the most important thing is the team, but when you help your team win, when you play well and score lots of goals, the next thing to have in mind is the Ballon d’Or.
“So I’m going to do everything I can and work as hard as possible to hopefully, one day, win it and achieve this dream I’ve had since I was a kid.”
In football you can never say never, and all the while that Benzema displays the characteristics that have often won Real Madrid a game singlehandedly, he’s in the crosshairs for the top individual award.