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Benzema announces he will retire at Real Madrid after winning Ballon d’Or: “No other option”

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking to Onda Cero (h/t Fabrizio Romano) after the Ballon d’Or ceremony in France on Monday night, Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema has confirmed that he will retire at the Spanish capital club.

The 34-year-old made history as he won the Ballon d’Or 2022 Award on Monday, after having spearheaded Real Madrid’s La Liga and UEFA Champions League success last season.

It was a long overdue reward for everything that Benzema has achieved since joining Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon all the way back in 2009.

And now, the French striker, an absolute legend at the club, has confirmed that he will be retiring at Real Madrid only and will not look to join a different club towards the final phase of his career.

“I will retire in Real Madrid. There’s no other option for me,” the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner said.

Benzema’s current contract with Los Blancos expires next year, but a one-year extension is all but confirmed, which will keep him at the Santiago Bernabeu until the summer of 2024, by which point he will be 36 years old.

Whether he will continue beyond that or decide to hang up his boots remains to be seen. What’s certain is that the former Lyon ace does not wish to play for any other club and wants to end his career with Real Madrid.

After winning the Ballon d’Or, Benzema could not hide his joy and delight and said (h/t Eurosport): “Seeing this prize in front of me makes me really proud. It was a childhood dream for me and all the work I have done, I never gave up. I am really proud of my journey here.

“It was not easy, it was a difficult time and also for my family as well. When I was not in the France team I never stopped working hard. To be standing here today for the first time, I am happy for my work and will keep going.”

Benzema has made a rather slow start to the ongoing season but played a key role in Real Madrid’s triumph over Barcelona in Sunday’s El Clasico.

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success

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Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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