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Fans salute 'Ballon d'Or Benzema'

Published : Friday, 3 December, 2021 at 10:20 AM  Count : 363

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Karim Benzema applauded Real Madrid's fans after they chanted "Karim, Ballon d'Or" as his goal against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday sent Madrid seven points clear at the top of La Liga. Benzema's 20th goal in 24 games this season proved the difference in a 1-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu that puts Madrid firmly in charge of the Spanish title race, even after only 15 games played.

"We're on a good run and I like the atmosphere right now in the team," said Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

A run of seven consecutive wins in all competitions has helped pull Ancelotti's team away from the chasing pack and Benzema, along with the explosive Vinicius Junior, has been instrumental.

Ancelotti insisted on Tuesday Benzema had not been "crying" about losing out to Lionel Messi in the Ballon d'Or on Monday, with the Frenchman finishing fourth in the final vote.

But there was more than a hint of rebellion in the air when the Madrid fans toasted his goal by chanting "Karim, Ballon d'Or" and the 33-year-old responded by applauding them back.

Ancelotti predicted Benzema would be even more motivated to win the award next season and perhaps his best hope would be to play a decisive role in Madrid winning either La Liga or the Champions League.

With Barcelona rebuilding under Xavi Hernandez and Atletico Madrid struggling to balance their usually dependable defence with a wealth of options in attack, Real Madrid are certainly emerging as clear favourites now in Spain.

They defeated Sevilla 2-1 last weekend and now face third-placed Real Sociedad and second-placed Atletico in their next two games, fixtures that could give them a formidable lead if the victories keep coming. Athletic, meanwhile, stay eighth, without a win now in six.


Related Topics

Benzema   Real Madrid  

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