Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema being the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner.
The Frenchman confessed that winning this award has been his dream since he was a kid, when he wanted to follow into the footsteps of his idols Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo Nazario.
“Since I was a child, [winning the Ballon d’Or] has been one of my biggest goals and dreams,” Benzema told GQ.
“It wasn’t something I thought about every day, don’t think I went to training because I wanted to win the Ballon d’Or.
“But it has always been in my head, ever since I was a kid. I grew up with the generation of Zizou and Brazilian Ronaldo.
“They won the Ballon d’Or. I learned to love football by watching them. For me, it’s been a goal since I was young, more like a dream.
“I try to fulfill all my dreams, at least as far as my career is concerned. What I have dreamed of, I achieve. Being the best is more than just scoring goals.”
The France international went on to explain how his parents have helped him to form his personality at young age.
“I would say my heroes are my father and my mother,” Benzema added.
“Why? Because they had a really bad time, really bad. If we talk about heroes, mine are my father and my mother.
“I didn’t have a football player as a role model. I’m not going to tell you that I always managed on my own, but coming from where I come from, I had to stand out in something.
“Since I had a bit more talent in football, I did my best to succeed.
“Aged 15 or 16, I began to be inspired by Ronaldo, Zidane and others to learn, but I never said: ‘I want to be like him’.
“For my parents, my father and my mother, the fact that I was a professional footballer was enough.
“My objective, my goal, is to try to be the best I can be at my job.”
Although he always tries to excel and stand out, Benzema is aware that helping your teammates is very important too for any footballer.
“It’s not about being the best,” Benzema declared.
“For me, in a team sport like football, it’s no use telling yourself, ‘I have to be the best.’
“My beginnings at Real Madrid were very difficult because I was very young and I felt very lonely.
“You can’t do it by yourself. It’s impossible. You only evolve if those around you help you to be better, and if you help them too, by scoring goals, winning games.”