Bayern Munich forward, Sadio Mane believes Karim Benzema deserves to win Ballon d’Or for his “great” displays at Real Madrid last season.
The former Liverpool forward was on target in Bayern Munich’s thrashing of their visitors, Viktoria Plzeñ by 5-0 at the Allianz Arena.
Julian Nagelsmann men were utterly dominant, and carried out their plan perfectly. Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane all scored within the first 21 minutes to ease the Bavarians to victory.
Sadio Mané assisted Leroy Sane to score the fourth goal just after half-time before Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting completed the rout.
When asked about his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or, the Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON) winner said ; “No honestly, I think that Karim deserves it this year. He’s had a great, great season with Real Madrid. He’s won the Champions League… I think he easily deserves it, so I’m happy for him.”
Benzema scored a total of 44 goals for Real Madrid, emerging as the top scorer for Carlo Ancelotti’s team in both the UEFA Champions League and the Spanish La Liga.
Mane netted 33 goals and five assists across a trophy-laden season for club and country. He won the FA and EFL Cup with the Reds’ last season.
The last time an African won the Ballon d’Or was in 1995. The year of the coronation of Liberian George Oppong Weah.
“I know I won the African Cup of Nations, it was a relief for me and for the whole country, and I’m really happy to have won my first Afcon with my country. But I think it’s Karim who deserves it, and I honestly believe that.”
This year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony will take place at the Theatre du Chatelet, Paris on Monday, October 17.