Ronaldo: Karim Benzema should be awarded the Ballon d’Or this year

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After winning the Ballon d’Or twice, Brazilian football legend Ronaldo Nazario believes Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema deserves to be awarded the coveted trophy this year.

Only Marco Van Basten, Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff (all 3), Cristiano Ronaldo (5), and Lionel Messi (7) have more Ballons d’Or. Meanwhile, Benzema has none, which the Brazilian believes is long overdue to change.

“Benzema deserves the Ballon d’Or, I’ve been saying it for years and getting chastised,” Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia’s Alessandro Del Piero.

The current Real Valladolid president also discussed his career, reflecting contentedly on the respect he has earned and continues to enjoy from fans all over the world.

“I have a lot of good memories, but what always surprises me is the affection people have for me wherever I go,” Ronaldo said.

“Everyone always has a lot of respect for me. The results on the field, what I accomplished with Brazil and my clubs…it was a lovely career.”

Ronaldo also revealed that he was on the verge of staying at Barcelona before joining Inter Milan.

“There was an agreement to renew with Barcelona, but four days later the president called to tell me I couldn’t stay,” Ronaldo explained.

“He told me I could talk to other clubs, and the Nerazzurri quickly came in and paid the buyout clause. Serie A was the best in the world back then.”