Karim Benzema has been named French Player of the Year for 2011, with his prolific record in front of goal rewarded with the prestigious prize.
France Football magazine have bestowed the honour upon the Real Madrid striker after seeing him net 32 times in 56 matches for club and country over the course of the last 12 months.
He provided crucial strikes for France as they booked their place at Euro 2012, while he has been a regular source of goals for Real in their quest to overthrow arch-rivals Barcelona.
With Benzema having come out on top in the voting, Barca defender Eric Abidal and Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris have been forced to settle for second and third place respectively.
"When I see the former No.1s, the likes of (Zinedine) Zidane, (Thierry) Henry and other great players, it makes me feel proud," Benzema told France Football on Tuesday.
Benzema inherits the crown from Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri, who could only manage a fourth place finish this time around.
The 23-year-old is delighted to have seen his achievements acknowledged, but insists he will not be resting on his laurels.
He already has 13 goals to his name this season, but the former Lyon striker admits his ultimate goal is to land FIFA's World Player of the Year award.
"Every year I try and get closer to (winning) the Golden Ball," said Benzema.
"I want to walk in Zizou's (Zidane's) footsteps."
World Cup winner Zidane, who is now Real's director of football, has tipped Benzema to 'go very far' in his career, while Real boss Jose Mourinho admits he has been pleasantly surprised by the France international's form.
Mourinho has not always seen eye to eye with Benzema during his time at Santiago Benzema, but he has been able to bring the best out of a man that cost Real close to £30million.
"At the start of the year, we couldn't imagine Karim would reach the level he's at today," Mourinho told France Football.
"But thanks to his hard work, his efforts, his character, he's managed to achieve this new status."