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Home Sports Mesut Ozil insists Ballon d’Or winner has been crowned after Man City-Real...

Mesut Ozil insists Ballon d’Or winner has been crowned after Man City-Real Madrid thriller

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Mesut Ozil played with Karim Benzema at Real Madrid (Picture: Getty)

Mesut Ozil believes Karim Benzema already has the Ballon d’Or award wrapped up following his latest heroics.

Manchester City edged a thrilling 4-3 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals at the Etihad on Tuesday night to take one step towards the final.

But the Spanish giants are still in with a chance of progressing thanks to Benzema’s brace, including a stunning Panenka penalty when under pressure.

The Frenchman now has 41 goals under his belt this season at the age of 34 and his former team-mate Ozil believes his name should be on the Ballon d’Or trophy this year.

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‘What a fantastic game. Give my boy Benzi the Ballon D’Or,’ tweeted the ex-Arsenal midfielder.

Benzema has never won the prestigious prize but is among the favourites to scoop the award this year, alongside Liverpool’s Mo Salah and City’s Kevin de Bruyne.

The striker’s chances will be boosted if he can fire Los Blancos to another Champions League trophy with the club already on the brink of wrapping up La Liga.

Benzema showed nerves of steel to convert a late penalty against City with a Panenka despite missing three spot-kicks already this month and even manager Carlo Ancelotti was unsure of his plans.

‘I think he changed because the last two penalties were not good. He changed and tried in training,’ Ancelotti said.

‘I did not know how he would shoot. He choose this and it goes really well. Strong personality and character.

‘It is not easy in the semi-final of the Champions League to do a penalty like this.’

Benzema will be hoping to add to his remarkable tally when Real look to overcome their one-goal deficit at the Bernabeu next week.

MORE : Alan Shearer stunned by ‘sheer arrogance and audacity’ of Karim Benzema in Man City defeat

MORE : Rio Ferdinand says Fernandinho was Manchester City’s ‘vulnerability’ in their thrilling win vs Real Madrid

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