Tue 30 November 2021 | 15:04

Ancelotti backs Benzema to challenge for Ballon d’Or award next year

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti congratulated Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi on winning his seventh Ballon d’Or award and tipped Karim Benzema to fight for the award next year.

Lionel Messi

won the 2021 Ballon d’Or award for a record seventh time on Monday after leading Argentina to the Copa America glory in July and scoring 40 goals in 2021, including 28 for




, 33, came in fourth place, after Messi,

Bayern Munich


Robert Lewandowski

, and





Toni Kroos

has suggested that the Frenchman deserved the prize more than

Paris Saint-Germain

star Lionel Messi this year.



acknowledges the choice, which was made by journalists from all around the globe, and says that Benzema will not be deterred by placing outside the top three.

"We have to give fair value to the classification,"

he said at a news conference before Wednesday's LaLiga clash with

Athletic Bilbao


"Messi has won and we must congratulate him. The individual awards are important but if they do not win it is not a catastrophe. I hope next year a Madrid player will win it.

"Benzema has had a great season and finished fourth. He will continue to be motivated to try to be first next time.

"If I had a vote, I would not choose any player outside of my own team. I'd have voted Benzema first, Vinicius [Junior] second, [Thibaut] Courtois third, Casemiro fourth.

"But you have to respect and congratulate Messi on winning."

source: SportMob

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