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Ozil & Ferdinand pick out the Ballon d’Or winner

Mesut Ozil, Rio Ferdinand
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The former Premier League stars agree that the 2022 Ballon d’Or award belongs to Karim Benzema.

Mesut Ozil and Rio Ferdinand agree that Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema should win this year’s Ballon d’Or.

The Frenchman underlined his credentials on Tuesday by scoring a brace in a seven-goal thriller between Manchester City and Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Man City may have won 4-3, but Benzema’s heroics have kept Real Madrid in the tie ahead of next week’s second leg in Spain.

It was another huge performance, capped off by a sweet panenka penalty, and earned a rave review from Ozil.

“What a fantastic game. Give my boy Benzi the Ballon D’Or,” the ex-Arsenal midfielder tweeted about his former Real Madrid teammate.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand agreed, quoting Ozil’s post with the word: “Facts”.

How has Benzema done this season?

The 34-year-old has scored 41 goals in as many games and assisted 13 times across all competitions for Real Madrid.

Thanks to his brace on Tuesday, Benzema has overtaken Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski as the top scorer in the Champions League with 14 goals in just 10 appearances.

Unlike Lewandowski, Benzema can still add to his tally. This leaves him in pole position to finish as the Champions League’s top scorer for the first time. He also leads the goal and assists charts in La Liga.

Furthermore, the striker is only the fifth Real Madrid player to reach 41+ goals in a single season after Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano, and Hugo Sanchez.

He will now look to solidify his claim for a first Ballon d’Or by leading Los Blancos to a comeback win against Man City next Wednesday. At the time of writing, Bet365 has priced Carlo Ancelotti’s side at 3.10 to win the second leg. This implies they have a 32% chance of victory.