Benzema wins 2022 Ballon d’Or Award


Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has won the 2022 Ballon d’Or award.

The 34-year-old went into this evening’s star-studded ceremony as firm favourite to scoop the biggest individual prize in football for the first time in his career following a stunning 2021-22 campaign.

Benzema scored 44 goals and assisted 15 more in just 46 games across all competitions, including 15 goals and two assists in 12 Champions League outings and 27 goals and 12 assists in 32 LaLiga games.

The Frenchman’s contributions helped Real Madrid to lift both trophies, and he has now won the Ballon d’Or for the first time.

Benzema succeeds seven-time winner Lionel Messi as the Ballon d’Or winner, becoming only the second player other than Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to take the award since 2007.

The striker becomes the fifth different French player to win the prestigious trophy, following in the footsteps of Raymond Kopa, Jean-Pierre Papin, Zinedine Zidane and Michel Platini, the latter of whom won it three times.

At 34, Benzema is also the oldest Ballon d’Or winner since Sir Stanley Matthews scooped the inaugural award in 1956.

Benzema beat off competition from the likes of Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne, who made up the top three, with Robert Lewandowski and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah finishing in fourth and fifth respectively.

Lewandowski won the Gerd Muller award for best striker for the second year in succession having scored more than anyone else during the 2021-22 season, with Benzema’s Real Madrid teammate Thibaut Courtois taking the Yashin award for Best Goalkeeper.

Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 games as he helped Real win the Champions League and La Liga in 2021-22.

Lionel Messi (seven) and Cristiano Ronaldo (five) had won the award on 12 of the previous 13 occasions.

Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas retained the Women’s Ballon d’Or, awarded to the best best female footballer of 2022.

England Euro 2022 winner and Arsenal forward Beth Mead was second.

Premier League champions Manchester City, who had six nominees at the ceremony, were awarded Club of the Year ahead of Liverpool.

The Ballon d’Or is awarded to the best footballer of the year, based on performance over the 2021-22 season.