Karim Benzema is “not crying,” according to Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, about missing out on his first Ballon d’Or.
Lionel Messi, who moved to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona last summer, won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time on Monday.
Messi, 34, led Argentina to the Copa America title in July and has 40 goals in 2021, including 28 for Barcelona.
Benzema, 33, came in fourth place, trailing Messi, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho.
Ancelotti was asked if the Ballon d’Or “still has credibility” after Messi’s latest victory during his press conference in Madrid on Tuesday.
“We must respect the decision.” “Messi won, and he is still a fantastic player,” Ancelotti said.
“Individual awards are important for players because they provide motivation – but if they don’t win them, it doesn’t matter.”
“Benzema had a fantastic season, finishing fourth, and now he will have even more motivation to finish first next year.”
“It’s an important award, but it’s still individual,” Ancelotti added. Thibaut Courtois, like Karim Benzema, isn’t upset about not winning. They accepted it without hesitation.”
Ancelotti stated that his top three players would have been Benzema, Vinicius Junior, and Luka Modric.
Vinicius scored a stunning late winner against Sevilla on Sunday, helping Real Madrid to a four-point lead at the top of La Liga.
They can increase their lead to seven points if they beat Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
“I’m not sure if we’re favorites in La Liga, but we’re playing well and consistently,” Ancelotti said.
Ancelotti also stated that Madrid will not sign any new players in January, but he did admit that dissatisfied players may be allowed to leave.
Some players, such as Isco and Eden Hazard, have fallen out of favor with Ancelotti this season.
Hazard will be available against Athletic Bilbao, according to Ancelotti, but the Belgian attacker “must improve his fitness because he’s had problems of various kinds.”
“I’m not a big fan of January signings.” If we have players who are dissatisfied, we will consider signing them, but we will not sign anyone.
“We have enough to compete until the season’s end.”