Inter Miami's Lionel Messi believes Karim Benzema has deservedly won the 2022 Ballon d'Or.
Messi was not shortlisted for last year's Ballon d'Or, and competition for the Balloon Don was limited to Benzema, Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne.
The France international eventually won the award with 549 votes, having led Real Madrid to La Liga and Champions League titles, as well as the UEFA Nations League with France.
Messi in a documentary produced by the newspaper "L'Equipe" about Benzema's coronation with the Ballon d'Or, said about the former Real star, "Benzema deserved to get the Golden Ball deservedly, he made a great season, and deserved to write in his career this award."
"Karim Benzema is a really great player, this award is important for him and for football in general."
Messi is competing with Benzema for the 2023 Ballon d'Or, but in this edition it seems that the Argentine international is the closest to winning the award for the eighth time in his career, according to most press reports in the recent period.
The Ballon d'Or awards ceremony will be held on October 30 in Paris, France, and the shortlist will see the presence of Arab duo Mohamed Salah and Yassine Bouno, along with other prominent names Vinicius Jr., Kylian Mbappe and Kevin De Bruyne, and amid the absence of the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo for the second year in a row.