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Champions League: “I hope Karim Benzema will have the Ballon d’Or”, says Laurent Blanc

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The 1998 world champion and former coach of the France team, Laurent Blanc, answered questions from Jacques Vendroux and Jean-François Pérès in “Europe 1 Sport”. The tactician set his sights on the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, and on French striker Karim Benzema.

INTERVIEW

It is one of the most anticipated matches of the season. The Champions League final takes place on Saturday evening at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, and pits Karim Benzema’s Real Madrid against Egyptian Mohamed Sala’s Liverpool. “I think it’s going to be a fantastic match because they are two fantastic teams”, says first Laurent Blanc, former coach of Paris Saint-Germain, in an exclusive interview granted to Jacques Vendroux and Jean-François Pérès in Europe 1 Sports.

“I hope that for the show, there will be a team that will open the scoring quickly because with the attacking potential of both teams, we can see an avalanche of goals”, advances the former French international who a rather rare occurrence in the media, and which evokes for this match “an audience of exceptional players”.

Karim Benzema, “a great player”

Among these exceptional players is the essential Karim Benzema, whom the former coach of the France team particularly appreciates. “I love it. I think it’s reciprocal too because we send text messages,” says Laurent Blanc. “He is a boy who breathes football, in his movements, his way of playing, of proposing solutions for his team and above all of finishing”, enumerates the former French international on Europe 1. “He has everything”, adds he. “He proves it late, but as soon as you see Karim play, you know he’s a great player.”

Can his qualities and recent performances make him a favorite for the next Ballon d’Or? “Certainly the final will have an impact since it is said that he is in competition with Sadio Mané of Liverpool”, notes the former coach of PSG. “These are two completely different styles, two very good players who we would also like to coach. I hope he wins this final first, and after the Ballon d’Or, I hope he gets it.” , he says, stressing that the number 9 of Real “deserves” this award, just like some other players.

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The “enormous mind” of Real, the “fantastic” formation of Liverpool

If he wishes KB9 to win this final, Laurent Blanc refuses however to take sides with one or the other of the two clubs: “May the best win. These are two big clubs which will try to win this cup of Europe.” For him, the people of Madrid “always manage to get by because they have a huge mind, exceptional players and above all, they play as a team”.

The 1998 world champion relies in particular on the European course of the training coached by Carlo Ancelotti, who managed to get out of complicated situations, especially against PSG or Manchester City, to reach the final.

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If he is full of praise for the Madrid formation, Laurent Blanc also underlines the many qualities of Liverpool. It’s a “fantastic team, from the goalkeeper to the coach, who for me is one of the best”, notes the former PSG coach. “But also players, they have a way of playing based on attack,” he notes. “Everything is in place to have an exceptional match. It’s a final, and if by luck a team opens the scoring quickly enough, we can see a match that we like to see”, concludes the former coach of the team. of France.

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