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Cristiano Ronaldo will attend the Ballon d’Or ceremony for the first time since 2017

Daniel Marland

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| Last updated 

Cristiano Ronaldo will attend the Ballon d’Or ceremony for the first time since 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo will reportedly be in attendance at Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony as he wants to offer support to Karim Benzema.

The 37-year-old hasn't attended the annual gala in Paris since he last won the award in 2017. Ronaldo has been nominated for the award after scoring 24 goals for Manchester United last season.

He's unlikely to win the award but according to Le Parisien, he's not going to be there for himself.

Benzema is the favourite to win the 2022 Ballon d'Or after captaining Real Madrid to La Liga and Champions League glory last term, scoring 44 goals in 46 games in the process.

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Ronaldo played with Benzema at the Santiago Bernabeu for nine years, with the duo becoming close friends during that period.

It's believed he wants to see his former teammate lift the ultimate individual prize in football in person.

The Portugal international snubbed the 2018, 2019 and 2021 ceremonies once it became clear he wouldn't be receiving the gong.

Lionel Messi is the current holder, but he hasn't been nominated after an underwhelming debut campaign with Paris Saint-Germain.

Check out the full list of nominees below:

Men's Ballon d'Or award nominees: Thibaut Courtois, Rafael Leao, Christopher Nkunku, Mohamed Salah, Joshua Kimmich, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Vinicius Junior, Bernardo Silva, Luis Diaz, Robert Lewandowski, Riyad Mahrez, Casemiro, Son Heung-min, Fabinho, Karim Benzema, Mike Maignan, Harry Kane, Darwin Nunez, Phil Foden, Sadio Mane, Sébastien Haller, Luka Modric, Antonio Rudiger, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Dusan Vlahovic, Virgil van Dijk, João Cancelo, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland

Ronaldo and Benzema have been close friends for years. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Ronaldo and Benzema have been close friends for years. (Image Credit: Alamy)

Benzema praised Ronaldo back in June, claiming he's helped him prolong his career.

He told Onze Mondial: "When I watched him, I tried to understand everything he did: the goals, the shots, the passes, the ball controI.

"I dissected everything about Ronaldo. That’s why I can say: it’s impossible to achieve the same."

When asked if why he believes he deserves to win the Ballon d'Or, Benzema replied: "Because I'm having a great season, I think. I was present during many important matches, I managed differences. 

"All this makes people recognise my performance. And then, I was consistent throughout the season."

Benzema has scored three goals in La Liga this season. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Benzema has scored three goals in La Liga this season. (Image Credit: Alamy)

The former Lyon man went as far as saying he'd vote for himself. "Yes, of course, because I love my game, I love what I do on the pitch," he declared. "I play the football that I always wanted to play. 

"The way I play on the pitch represents my vision of football.

"For example, if I saw another player doing what I do on a pitch, I would vote for them."

Who do you think deserves to win the 2022 Ballon d'Or? Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema

Daniel Marland
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