Despite the snubs and partiality in the last two decades, France Football’s Ballon d’Or continues to be highly prestigious and coveted. Bayern Munich has had its fair share of Ballon d’Or winners, with Gerd Müller, Franz Beckenbauer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Lothar Matthäus having been honoured in their careers.
No matter who wins, the Müller Mafia will have you know the award is bogus for not recognizing Thomas Müller.
In recent years, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski came very close to winning the awards, and in the end, lost it to either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi despite arguably being the more deserving candidates. Lewandowski, naturally, ended up making his move to FC Barcelona and it may be the case that Lewy feels his exploits in Spain might hold more merit than whatever he accomplishes in Munich.
Real Madrid recently lifted La Decimacuarta, their 14th Champions League trophy, with much credit to an in-form Karim Benzema, who has been undeniably fantastic. Sadio Mané praised Benzema in a recent interview with Canal Sport (as transcribed by @iMiaSanMia), and even went as far as to state that the Frenchman deserves the Ballon d'Or 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," Mané said.
Mané too had a few accolades to his name -- winning the African Cup of Nations with Senegal, and subsequently being honoured as the African Footballer of the Year. The former Liverpool attacker described winning AFCON as a relief for him and his whole country, however feels that it doesn't warrant him the Ballon d’Or.
“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," the 30-year-old said, insisting that Benzema deserves the Ballon d’Or. Even the likes of Messi and Bayern Munich Alumnus David Alaba believe so.
It is undoubtedly the case that the prolific French attacker is the most deserving candidate for the prestigious award, but it remains to be seen who actually will receive it this year. Do you believe Benzema is the most deserving candidate? Let us know in the comments down below.