Every year around September, the world begins its usual debate of who should win the coveted Ballon d’Or. With two to three contenders having a solid claim every year, the decision is far from unanimous.
However, there is not much noise around the contenders for the award presented by France Football presented this season, the reason for it being that there is a clear favourite to take it home, in the form of Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema.
France international team manager Didier Deschamps was asked earlier this week whether Benzema deserved to win the Ballon d’Or this year. As quoted by RMC Sport, he responded,
“Benzema winning Ballon d’Or? He deserves it, I hope he wins it.”
The French striker had an unreal run across all competitions last season and led Real Madrid’s campaign both domestically and in Europe. He found the back of the net a whopping 44 times last season and provided 14 assists in the process.
Earlier this year, he was named ‘The Best Men’s player’ by UEFA for his otherworldly performance and consistency last season. Now, he is clearly the favourite to pick up the Ballon d’Or too.
Benzema’s start to the 2022-23 season has not been ideal. The Frenchman was injured in Real Madrid’s game against Celtic and has missed the team’s last three matches.
It was expected that Real Madrid would struggle without the talisman’s services. However, being the winning machine that they are, Los Blancos have found alternative sources for goals in recent games. Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde, in particular, have stepped on the gas and made up for Benzema’s absence.
Nevertheless, Carlo Ancelotti will hope to have the striker’s services back soon, especially with a hectic October coming up.
Real Madrid were offered Man City loanee in January, club decided against move – Romano
Joao Cancelo’s loan move to Bayern Munich from Manchester City in the final days of the January transfer window came as a huge shock.
The Portuguese international signed for the Bavarian giants on a loan deal until the end of the season with a non-mandatory purchase option worth €70 million.
But, according to Fabrizio Romano, before his move to Bayern Munich, Cancelo was also offered to Real Madrid, who decided against signing any player in the January transfer window.
The Manchester City loanee has been on Los Blancos’ radars in the past, but the club made it clear that they are uninterested in signing any new players during the winter window.
As things stand, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez are Carlo Ancelotti’s options at right-back, but there are concerns over their fitness and longevity.
But, as things stand, Real Madrid have no plans to sign a new right-back in the summer as they have full faith in both Carvajal and Vazquez.
Furthermore, Romano adds that the Merengues believe that they have a top right-back for the future in the form of Vinicius Tobias.
The teenage Brazilian joined the club in April last year from Shakhtar Donetsk on loan with a purchase option. He has been earning rave reviews for his performances for Real Madrid’s Castilla outfit under Raul Gonzalez.
So, there is a good chance that the Spanish and European champions will sign Tobias permanently.
All these factors seemingly compelled them against making a move for Cancelo when he was offered to the club last month. The Portuguese international has already made his debut for Bayern Munich and registered an assist on his debut.
Whether they decide to sign him permanently for €70 million in the summer remains to be seen. As for Real Madrid, though, there do not seem to be any imminent plans to reinforce the right-back position.