Karim Benzema is now odds on with several bookmakers to win the Ballon d’Or 2022 after continuing his remarkable season with a brace at the Etihad Stadium.
The French striker, who turned 34 years of age in December, has racked up 41 goals from just 41 matches for Real Madrid, including 14 (from 10) in the Champions League.
Since the start of March, his Champions League exploits alone include a hat-trick to overturn a first leg deficit against PSG in the round of 16, a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge in the quarter-final first leg, a further brace against the Blues in the second leg and two more against Manchester City in last night’s semi-final first leg – including the most audacious Panenka penalty.
Prior to this sparkling run of form on the biggest Champions League nights, he had been available at 16/1 with some bookmakers through oddschecker, with Mohamed Salah (now a best price 13/2) the clear frontrunner for the Ballon d’Or as the star man in Liverpool’s pursuit of a quadruple.
A brace against a beleaguered Manchester aside, Salah’s goal output has slowed of late, whereas Benzema (still a best price 11/10) has gone to another level. He now has 25 goals from 29 league appearances (against Salah’s 22 from 31) and 14 to the Egyptian’s eight in the Champions League.
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A relative goal slump for Salah (three goals in seven league appearances since the start of March including the two against United) has also opened the door for Kevin de Bruyne to make a late bid of his own for the Ballon d’Or crown.
The Belgian midfield maestro typified his recent form with a goal and an assist last night – he has come in from 12/1 less than two months ago to 13/2 with two bookmakers but remains a best price 10/1 through oddschecker.
|Player||Best Price||Worst Price|
|Kevin de Bruyne||10/1||13/2|