Karim Benzema became the first Frenchman since 1998 to claim the Ballon d’Or.
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema has picked up the 2022 Ballon d’Or award following his remarkable performances in season 2021/22. He was in great touch with his national team and club team.
The striker netted 44 goals in 46 games across all competitions for Real Madrid. He won LaLiga and Champions League for his club. His performance in the Champions League’s knockout stage was extraordinary when he changed the game in favour of Madrid within few minutes.
He faced competition from Bayern Munich’s Sadio Mane and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne who came second and third respectively. Benzema becomes the eighth Madrid player and the fifth Frenchman to etch his name into the Balon d’Or history books.
“It makes me really proud – All the work I did, I never gave up,” Benzema was quoted saying by Sky Sports after picking up football’s most-coveted individual accolade.
“It was a childhood dream like all kids. I had two motivations in my life – Zidane and Ronaldo. I’ve always had this dream in my mind that anything is possible.
“I have a lot of people to thank. It’s an individual prize, but it’s a collective one because everyone has played a role.
“I want to thank my teammates, whether it’s Real Madrid or the national team. My coach, thanks to him as well and the Real Madrid president as well.”
With his Madrid contract due to expire next summer, Benzema is set to put pen to paper on a new deal to extend his time at the Santiago Bernabeu by a further 12 months.
Meawhile, Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas won the women’s Ballon d’Or for the second successive year, seeing off the threat of Beth Mead and Samantha Kerr.