Karim Benzema, a striker for Real Madrid, has been named the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner. After an incredible 2021–22 season, the 34-year-old entered this evening’s star-studded presentation.
As a strong favourite to win football’s top individual award for the first time in his career.In just 46 games across all competitions, Benzema scored 44 goals and provided 15 assists, including 15 goals and two assists in 12 Champions League games and 27 goals and 12 assists in 32 La Liga games.
Due to his services, Real Madrid was able to win both trophies, and the Frenchman has now won the prestigious Ballon d’Or for the first time. Benzema became only the second player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or award since 2007.
The Real Madrid star forward succeeds seven-time winner Lionel Messi. The striker joins Raymond Kopa, Jean-Pierre Papin, Zinedine Zidane, and Michel Platini the latter of whom won it three times. While Benzema became the sixth different French player to take home the illustrious trophy.
Since Sir Stanley Matthews won the first Ballon d’Or in 1956, Benzema, 34, is also the oldest winner of the prize.
Benzema comments on winning the Ballon d’Or
“Seeing this award in front of me makes me really proud of the work I have done. It was childhood dream, to have the motivation… I had two role models [Zinedine] Zidane and Ronaldo and always I had this dream in my mind that anything is possible,”
Benzema said upon receiving the award.
“There was a difficult period where I wasn’t in the French team but I never stopped working hard or gave up.”
“Really proud of my journey here. It wasn’t easy it was difficult. To be here today for the first time, I am happy, pleased for my work and want to keep going.”
“I want to thank all my teammates at Real Madrid and France and my coach and the Real Madrid president who is here this evening and also the support of Jean-Michel Aulas (Lyon president).”
“There are a lot of people to thank. It is an individual prize but still a collective one because of everyone who played a role in it.”
Benzema outperformed Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne, who finished first through third, with Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool coming in fourth and fifth, respectively.
After scoring more goals than any other player during the 2021–22 season, Lewandowski received the Gerd Muller award for best striker for a second consecutive year. Benzema’s Real Madrid colleague Thibaut Courtois earned the Yashin award for best goalkeeper.
Because they shared the most nominations with Liverpool, who finished ahead of Real Madrid in second place, Manchester City was given the Club of the Year title.
Gavi of Barcelona won the Kopa award for the best young player, and Mane, the main prize’s runner-up, earned the first-ever Socrates award for his humanitarian work.
Alexia Putellas of Barcelona received the prize for women, winning it for the second year in a row.
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