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The Frenchman spoke of his desire to win the most prestigious individual accolade whilst hailing Sergio Ramos as the best defender in world football

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has admitted that winning the Ballon d’Or is “in the back of his mind" as he begins a new era at the club under Carlo Ancelotti.

The 25-year-old France international scored 20 goals in 50 appearances last term, but was often criticised for a lack of goals as Madrid surrendered their Liga crown to Barcelona.

However, with Benzema set to start the campaign as the team's undisputed first choice striker following the departure of Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli, the France international has set himself some lofty targets for the coming season.

“It’s (Ballon d’Or) at the back of my mind. I work every day with the aim of winning it,” he told Adidas as the club wrapped up their pre-season tour of America.

“We need to be positive. We need to focus on the fact we are a great team and we’re here to win things.

“Real Madrid is the best club. I came here to work hard and I’m so happy to be here.

“The best thing is that I’ve dreamt of being a footballer since I was a boy and now I am one and I am living my dream.”

Benzema then lavished praise on Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos, but refused to be drawn on who he believes is the best player in world football.

“There are so many good players... right now I couldn’t pick one, but I do know that I’m playing in the best team in the world, with the best players in the world,” he continued.

“At the back there have been lots, and I’ve faced a lot of good defenders, but I think the best is Ramos.”

Real Madrid commence their Liga campaign against Betis on August 19.

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