In Karim Benzema's beautiful mansion in Ciudalcampo, an exclusive community on the outskirts of Madrid, there has been a space reserved for the Ballon d'Or trophy in his trophy cabinet. For years, the Frenchman has hoped of actually displaying the trophy of his dreams there, with all the Champions Leagues and the rest of his prizes and medals.

And in Monday night's ceremony, the dream of a lifetime and his crowning achievement finally happened. Even when he went through bad times, when things were not going great at Real Madrid, when he was not being picked by Didier Deschamps for France and even as he was getting older, Benzema, officially crowned the best player in the world, never stopped working, believing or dreaming of winning that illustrious prize.

"This is the people's Ballon d'Or," he said during the ceremony on Monday night in the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. He didn't mean it in a political sense; rather, he felt it was an example for anyone who, like him, have dreams and ambitions of any kind. People who, like him, started from the bottom and with nothing, only to go on and reach the pinnacle of their profession. People who, like him, have been written off only to rise again. People who, like him, have talent and don't give up, putting in the hard work in addition to using their gifts to the fullest. Benzema is a voice and model in this respect.

"Karim is football," said Carlo Ancelotti on Monday night. The Real Madrid manager is right, too, because the France forward is arguably everything you love about the game: elegance and class, altruism and intelligence, talent and leadership. He is the most complete striker of his generation, a player capable of miracles, as we saw last season in the Champions League, in which he scored 15 goals to carry the Merengues to another European triumph -- his fifth CL title since joining the club from Lyon before the 2009-10 season.