Zinedine Zidane calls Karim Benzema the 'best striker in French football history'
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Zinedine Zidane has branded Karim Benzema the 'best striker in the history of French football' following his Ballon d'Or triumph.
Benzema, 34, beat Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne to claim the coveted 2022 Ballon d'Or on Monday.
He enjoyed a scintillating campaign last season, scoring an incredible 44 goals for Real Madrid as he helped them to La Liga and Champions League glory.
Former Galactico and France international Zidane presented the prestigious individual prize to Benzema.
He had a beaming smile on his face as he handed the award to his fellow countryman.
And speaking after the ceremony, 'Zizou' paid Benzema the ultimate compliment as he called him the 'best striker in the history of French football.
The 50-year-old referenced Jean-Pierre Papin and three-time Ballon d'Or winner Michel Platini, but sided with Benzema when discussing the best striker in French history.
He told L'Equipe: "The best striker in the history of French football? Everyone has their favourite player. Some people will tell you it’s Jean-Pierre Papin with his exceptional goals, others will talk about Michel Platini.
"For me, it’s Karim, yes, because I’ve been around him and I know what he’s worth. In any case, he deserves to be very high. I wish him to continue for a long time to go for records and to shine on the field, with Real Madrid and with the French team.
"He is capable of going even higher."
After being recognised as the best player in world football, Benzema said: "This prize in front of me makes me really proud.
"When I was small, it was a childhood dream, I never gave up. Anything is possible."
He added: "I'm really proud of my journey here. It wasn't easy, it was a difficult time for my family as well."
Benzema is on course for another prolific season, having bagged five goals in all competitions.