Champions League: Benzema Mane, a throne to two

It is hard to imagine the Madrid centre-forward granting football's most prestigious individual prize, which was given on October 17th in Paris.

Champions League: Benzema Mane, a throne to two

It is hard to imagine the Madrid centre-forward granting football's most prestigious individual prize, which was given on October 17th in Paris. Benzema, 34, has had the best season of any player in his career.

He led his team to a 35th La Liga championship at the end April. After a possible "decimocuarta", (14th), in C1. Real defeated Paris SG in round 16 thanks to his amazing moves. They also beat Chelsea, the defending champion, and Manchester City in the semis. It was a stunning end to the match.

The former Lyonnais could match the record of Cristiano Rojo, who scored 17 goals in C1 between 2013-2014, if he scores a double at Saint-Denis. In an interview posted on the UEFA website, the French striker said that records can be broken.

"It's excellence. It's Karim. [...] I'm all for it being a French-based player (editor's note: He does so much for his club and with France, which is why he's a great player, said Didier Deschamps, French coach, in an interview with beIN Sport on Sunday.

A victory on Saturday would end all suspense. Benzema would be the first Frenchman to win the Ballon d’Or since Zinedine Zidane, his former coach in 1998.

As in the votes, he faces the final barrier that keeps him from the trophy: Sadio Mene, who is in the race to be the second African winner of the Ballon d'Or, following the Liberian George Weah's 1995 victory. On Tuesday, he said to reporters that it was sad that no other African player had won the Ballon d'Or since Weah. "We're going make everyone win the Champions League and then we'll watch what happens with Ballon d'Or.

The 30-year-old striker will be the leader of a team that has won nearly everything, even if he scores less than 23 goals in all competitions. Liverpool's Champions League win would give them a nice treble. This would also include the FA Cup and League Cup. It would be a consolation for Manchester City's loss in the Premier League.

He scored two goals in the jersey of Senegal. In one match, he was the goal scorer who gave the country its first African Cup of Nations at February 1, and then the one that sent it to the 2022 World Cup, at March 31. It was both against Mohamed Salah, his teammate.

"It's an engine!" Jurgen Klopp, his coach, was recently enthusiastic. He is "a huge player!" He is a world-class player with his combination of technique, desire, and physical impact.

Luis Diaz arrived in January and Mane has faced competition this year. He has often been decisive in the finals, as well as his goals against Villarreal (2-0, 3-3), in the semi-finals. His future on the banks the Mersey remains uncertain despite this. The Senegalese are driven by the shadow of Salah who wonders about their future and makes them want to move elsewhere.

If he is looking for a final challenge, he will need to have a year of honorable service and 30 years from April 10. Benzema's latest contender for the Ballon d'Or is now doubtful: "I'll answer after the Champions League." He smiled at Sky Sports Wednesday, "Whether I'm staying or leaving, I'll answer after the Champions League."

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