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‘Give Benzema the Ballon d’Or!’ – Ozil calls for Real Madrid striker to take award off Messi

The Fenerbahce midfielder was full of praise for his former team-mate after his latest brace in the Champions League

Mesut Ozil has called for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to take the Ballon d’Or off Lionel Messi in 2022 as he continues to enjoy his best season yet for the Spanish giants.

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Benzema scored his 40th and 41st goals of the campaign as Madrid were beaten 4-3 by Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old’s latest double helped ensure that Carlo Ancelotti’s men still have a good chance of reaching the final ahead of the return leg at Santiago Bernabeu, and Ozil was left in awe of his performance.

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What has Ozil said about Benzema?

Benzema has 14 goals in the Champions League this term, including hat-tricks against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea in the previous knockout rounds, and is now only three behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s all-time record of 17.

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Ozil, who played alongside the Frenchman at Santiago Bernabeu between 2010 and 2013, believes his recent exploits in the final third should earn him his maiden Golden Ball ahead of PSG star and 2021 winner Messi.

“What a fantastic game. Give my boy Benzi the Ballon d’Or,” the Fenerbahce midfielder wrote on Twitter.

Who else is in the running for the Ballon d’Or?

Benzema is currently top of the GOAL Ballon d’Or power rankings, but he is set to face stiff competition for the award from a number of household names.

Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe and Sadio Mane complete the top five, while Kevin de Bruyne and 2018 winner Luka Modric are in the running after strong campaigns.

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There is no place in the power rankings for Messi at the moment though, with the seven-time Golden Ball winner having only netted nine goals in his debut season for PSG.

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