Thierry Henry believes the Champions League final consists of the three frontrunners to win the Ballon d’Or this year. Karim Benzema will face off against Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the highly-anticipated showpiece final in Paris. Henry believes Benzema should still be considered the favourite to pick up the prize for the first time in his career.
Thierry Henry has backed Karim Benzema to win the Ballon d’Or this year, but feels it could be decided by which team wins the Champions League final in Paris.
Liverpool overcame a scare to beat Villarreal 5-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals, while Real Madrid pulled off a remarkable late comeback to beat Manchester City in extra-time to set up a mouth-watering final at the Stade de France on May 28.
Henry claims the two leading contenders for the award are this season’s Premier League top goalscorer Mohamed Salah (22) and La Liga’s top scorer Benzema (26 goals).
He also thinks the Egypt international’s Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane is firmly in contention.
Mane, who won the Africa Cup of Nations in February and Liverpool’s second-leading goalscorer this season with 21 goals, is on course for an unprecedented quadruple.
Henry told CBS Sports: “The thing about the final and to make it even bigger, the two favourites for the golden ball, the Ballon d’Or are Mane and Benzema. So that will add an extra little spice into it.”
However, Henry believes his compatriot Benzema will win it. Benzema, who has already won the La Liga title this season, will achieve the double if Real can win the Champions League.
The former Arsenal and Barcelona striker added: “I still believe that Benzema is ahead but if Mane wins it with Liverpool and they do make the quadruple, that is a pretty strong case and it would be great for Africa. But I’m still going for Benzema.”
Benzema 🆚 Mane.
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 4, 2022
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