France International, Karem Benzema, and Senegalese hero, Sadio Mane are arguably the top two runners for the prestigious Ballon D’or award for the 2021-2022 football calendar. The two have proven their worth as the most influential players for both national and club football.

The two are set to meet in the UEFA Champions League Final (UCL) on 28th May, 2022 at Parc De Franc in Paris. Karem Benzema has won the trophy four times and Sadio Mane has one to his name.

The Real Madrid forward and skipper has 15 goals in the UCL this season and 86 goals amongst all times scorers in the competition. Mane on the other hand has 24 goals of all-time in the Competition and managed 4 goals in this year.

In their respective leagues, Real Madrid have already won the La Liga and the Supercopa. Benzema leads the top-scorers with 26 goals and on a tie with Barcelona’s Dembele of 11 assists.

Benzema for Real Madrid

Sadio Mane has scored 14 goals and with three assists thus far. He has won the Carabao Cup and he is in the finals of the FA Cup. His team, Liverpool is 1 point behind EPL league leaders and he may be lucky to win it if Manchester City slips down. In addition, Mane won the African Cup of Nations with Senegal in February, 2022 were he managed to score three goals plus two assists. He was also named the Player of the Tournament.

Saviour Mane

This is what some recognised names have said about the two:

“The thing about the final to make it even bigger is the two favorites for the Golden Ball, the Ballon d’Or, are Mane and Benzema. So that will add an extra little spice to it, because I still believe that Benzema is ahead, but if Mane wins it with Liverpool and they do make the quadruple that’s a pretty strong case. It would be great for Africa, but I’m still going for Benzema” France World Cup winner and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry said on CBS Sports.

Former English player who played for Liverpool, Manchester City, and Real Madrid believes Mane should win it: “I was going to say Mane, He has won the AFCON and if he scores in the [Champions League] final too, there are lots of different scenarios. But it is great to see Benzema get his rewards.”

“Benzema Ballon d’Or? For me it’s no. Wait, there’s a player currently doing just as well as Benzema and no one is talking about him,” Ajax and Manchester United legend Van der Sar said, during a Twitter space.

Whoever wins it deserves it. All that is important is seeing the best out of all these players in their individual careers and we expect to see a beautiful UCL final.