The Frenchman is the hot favourite to be named the world footballer of the year after he guided Madrid to their 14th Champions League title.
The 34-year-old enjoyed the most prolific season of his career by scoring 44 times in 46 matches.
Those goals helped Madrid to the La Liga title but it was his performances in the Champions League that catapulted him above the competition.
Benzema scored four times over two legs against Chelsea in the quarter-finals and three times as Real overcame Manchester City in the semi-finals.
The Spaniards were underdogs in the final against Liverpool but they came out on top, in no small part thanks to Benzema’s leadership.
The defeat was Mane’s final appearance in a red shirt but he doesn’t begrudge Benzema’s role in the loss and says the Frenchman deserves the Ballon d’Or prize.
‘Honestly, I think that Karim deserves it this year,’ Mane said.
‘I know I won the African Cup of Nations, it was a relief for me and for the whole country, and I’m really happy to have won my first Afcon with my country. But I think it’s Karim who deserves it, and I honestly believe that.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.