Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema won the men’s Ballon d’Or 2022.
Real won the Champions League last season with 44 goals scored in 46 matches.
Benzema was crowned at a Paris ceremony ahead of Sadio Mae in second place and Kevin De Bruyne, with the striker becoming France’s first winner of the Ballon D’Or since Zinedine Zidane – who presented the award to him – in 1998.
This striker is also the oldest Ballon D’Or recipient since 1956, when Stanley Matthews won it.
Benzema said, “It makes my heart proud.” “All the hard work I did, I never stopped. It was a childhood dream, like all children. Two motivations were important in my life: Zidane, Ronaldo. I have always believed that anything is possible.
“It was difficult for me to be in the French team during that time, but I didn’t stop working hard and never gave up. I kept my head up, focused on football and am proud of the journey I have made. It was not easy. It was difficult. It was difficult for me and my family. Today is a first for me. I am happy with my work, and I will continue to do so.
“I would like to thank all my teammates, no matter if it’s Real Madrid or the national. He is also my coach. Real Madrid president, too.
“I have many people to thank. Although it is an individual award, it’s a collective prize because everyone played a part.
How did Premier League stars fare in the Premier League?
De Bruyne was voted as the highest-ranked player in England. The Manchester City midfielder came third.
Cristiano Ronaldo was not successful and he ended up finishing 20th on the Ballon D’Or honours boards. This is the lowest position that the Manchester United forward has been in since 2005.
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s player of the year, was chosen fifth ahead of Kylian Mbappe of PSG and Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid as Champions League match-winner Vinicius Junior.
Manchester City forward Erling Haland placed 10th, one spot ahead of Tottenham’s Heung Min Son and two places over his current club team-mate Riyad Maharez.
Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool’s duo, finished in 14th- and 16th places, respectively. Joao Cancelo, Luis Diaz and Bernardo Silva were the remaining 25-man shortlist members.
Alexia Putellas of Barcelona, a star in the Catalan soccer league, won the women’s award. She steered the Catalan club to victory with 100 percent points.
After winning the fourth Premier League title in five years, Manchester City was named Club of the year at the Paris ceremony. They defeated runners-up Liverpool to the award.