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Clamour for Benzema's 'deserving' Ballon d'Or honour grows after Champions League heroics

The veteran striker has displayed a stellar show this season, helping Carlo Ancelotti's side towards reclaiming their domestic crown in La Liga and now taking them through to the Champions League semifinals.

football Clamour for Benzema's 'deserving' Ballon d'Or honour grows after Champions League heroics snt
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Madrid, First Published Apr 13, 2022, 2:05 PM IST

Real Madrid was on the verge of facing an embarrassing Champions League exit at the hands of defending champions Chelsea at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Tuesday night. However, with just 10 minutes to go against the Blues, Real Madrid legends Karim Benzema and Luka Modric stepped up to overcome Thomas Tuchel's side 5-4 on aggregate.

The European and World Champions had looked on course to complete an astonishing comeback after taking a 3-0 lead in their quarter-final second leg with goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner. Yet the hosts came roaring back, with Rodrygo finishing from a superb pass by Luka Modric to level the tie 4-4 on aggregate and force extra time when Karim Benzema headed home to decide a remarkable encounter.

Also read: 'What a manager': Fabregas lauds Chelsea boss Tuchel despite Champions League exit

Following this epic clash, clamour for the Frenchman, who has 12 Champions League and 24 La Liga goals to his credit this season, to be honoured with football's coveted Ballon d'Or title, has picked up momentum across social media platforms.

Not just Real Madrid fans but former legends too believe that the 34-year-old is worthy of lifting football's biggest individual accolade too.

Former Real Madrid and Brazil great Ronaldo told Sky Sports Italia, "For the European Cup, Real Madrid are the favourites. Then they have Ancelotti on the bench, who is one of the best in the world. Benzema? He deserves the Ballon d'Or, I've been saying it for years, and they've criticised me, but he deserves it. He's a great striker."

Here's a look at some of the other reactions on the micro-blogging site Twitter:

The veteran striker has displayed a stellar show this season, helping Carlo Ancelotti's side towards reclaiming their domestic crown in La Liga and now taking them through to the Champions League semifinals.

Underperforming seasons for regular contenders Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo means the biggest prize a player can win on their own merit in football is likely up for grabs this year. With Bayern Munich out of the Champions League race thanks to Villarreal's heroics, Lewandowski's chances now appear bleak - especially in front of Benzema.

Also read: Will Lewandowski move to Barcelona? Bayern Munich CEO Kahn gives strongest response

Real Madrid will either play Manchester City or local rivals Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals, and, having scored four against the reigning European champions, it's not like the France international will hold any fear against either side.

With the Ballon d'Or changes this year and his current form, the former Lyon striker could be on the verge of being named the best player in the world come October.

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