Zinedine Zidane: This player deserves Ballon d'Or

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Luis Figo - 2000
Luis Figo - 2000
Ronaldo - 2002
Ronaldo - 2002
Fabio Cannavaro - 2006
Fabio Cannavaro - 2006
Cristiano Ronaldo - 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017
Cristiano Ronaldo - 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017
Luka Modric - 2018
Luka Modric - 2018
Scroll through the gallery to see the last five pl
Scroll through the gallery to see the last five players to have won the Ballon d'Or while at Real Madrid

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has revealed who he thinks deserves to win the 2021 Ballon d'Or. 

The contentious subject as who should win the Golden Ball this year appears to not be losing any speed, with the 1998 winner of the award, Zidane, having now weighed in on the topic. 

Scroll through the gallery above to see the last five players to have won the Ballon d'Or while on Real's books

While the 30 nominees were announced earlier this month, several names have emerged as favourites, including Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, and Mohamed Salah, with the likes of Chelsea stars Jorginho and N'Golo Kante also in the running for the award due to their exploits in 2021. 

However, Zidane believes that, of all the nominees, no one is more deserving of the prestigious prize than French striker Karim Benzema.   

"We're talking about a player [Benzema] who deserves to win this Ballon d'Or," he told TF1's Telefoot. 

"He's an incredible player, I had the great honour of coaching him. He knows how to do everything on the pitch.  

"I hope he can be rewarded with this Ballon d'Or. It's the right moment because he's at the top of his game." 

Read: 5 managers who could replace Solskjaer at Manchester United

Benzema himself recently expressed his desire to emulate Zidane by winning the Golden Ball. 

"Win the Ballon d'Or? Yes, that would be one of the many dreams I have had since childhood," the France star said during an interview with French broadcaster Canal+. 

"Of course, I dreamed of it as a kid. 

"My idols, whether it's R9 [Ronaldo Nazario] or Zizou [Zidane], they came to Real Madrid and won the Ballon d'Or.  

"And that's one of the little things I think about. Today, I'm not far from it." 

Here are Europe's 10 best performers in 2021/22 so far, per Sky Sports' Power Rankings

10. Dimitri Payet - Olympique Marseille
10. Dimitri Payet - Olympique Marseille
9. Florian Wirtz - Bayer Leverkusen
9. Florian Wirtz - Bayer Leverkusen
8. Teji Savanier - Montpellier
8. Teji Savanier - Montpellier
7. Achraf Hakimi - Paris Saint-Germain
7. Achraf Hakimi - Paris Saint-Germain
6. Mikel Oyarzabal - Real Sociedad
6. Mikel Oyarzabal - Real Sociedad
5. Edin Dzeko - Inter Milan
5. Edin Dzeko - Inter Milan
4. Kylian Mbappe - Paris Saint-Germain
4. Kylian Mbappe - Paris Saint-Germain
3. Erling Haaland - Borussia Dortmund
3. Erling Haaland - Borussia Dortmund
2. Mohamed Salah - Liverpool
2. Mohamed Salah - Liverpool
1. Karim Benzema - Real Madrid
1. Karim Benzema - Real Madrid