Rio Ferdinand names his Ballon dOr winner as he backs Liverpools Mo Salah to be snubbed

Man City v Real Madrid: Pictures

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Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been full of praise for the likes of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne this season. However, he believes that it is Karim Benzema that deserves to win the Ballon d’Or this year.

The striker scored a brace in Real Madrid’s 4-3 loss to Manchester City on Tuesday night, in what was another special night for the Frenchman despite the defeat. Benzema tucked home a volley in the first half whilst 2-0 down to give his side hope.

Then, after Aymeric Laporte was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the penalty box, he ludicrously chipped the ball down the middle to make the game 4-3 late on. And it was that performance that led Ferdinand to reveal that he thinks the 34-year-old should win the Ballon d’Or.

Former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil initially tweeted: “What a fantastic game. Give my boy Benzi the Ballon d’Or.” To which, Ferdinand quote tweeted the message with the simple caption: “Facts.”

Benzema has scored 25 in 29 La Liga appearances for Madrid this season, spearheading their attack as they run out easy winners of the league. Though his linkup play and assists have also warranted praise, setting up 11 goals for his teammates as well.

The former Lyon striker is, arguably, enjoying the best campaign of his career and winning the biggest individual accolade in world football would certainly put the icing on the cake for him. However, managing to come from behind to beat Manchester City in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final is certainly of higher priority. Salah is certainly a worthy candidate for the award too, especially with the Reds having a fighting chance of winning the quadruple this season.

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Ferdinand has often praised Benzema, and previously he revealed that even when the striker was just emerging as a top talent, it caused him a lot of issues as a player. He told BT Sport: “The first time I played against him was 2008, and that was the first time I had seen him up close and personal.

“If you see the goal he scored against us, look how many players are around him, but all he needed was one touch, it was all one motion. I remember coming off the pitch and Sir Alex Ferguson said ‘don’t worry, I’m trying to get him’. But I think Zidane, Real Madrid, with his African connections, he chose them. I think looking back, Sir Alex I think he will be one of the players he will be most devastated about not going.”

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