Benzema wins Ballon d’Or 2022 (Sports News) – Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema was named the recipient of the Ballon d’Or for 2022. The annual honour, given out by news magazine France Football, marks the top player in the world. And the 34-year old was recognised for helping his side win both the Spanish La Liga and UEFA Champions League, as well as being the top scorer in both competitions.
Benzema, who placed fourth in the top 10 last year, became the first Frenchman to win the award after Zinedine Zidane in 1998. He is also the 5th player from France to win the honour, as well as the oldest recipient since 1956.
KARIM BENZEMA IS THE 2022 BALLON D’OR! ✨@[email protected]#ballondor pic.twitter.com/TXLkHJIhJM
— Ballon d’Or #ballondor (@francefootball) October 17, 2022
Benzema wins Ballon d’Or 2022 – How Voting Took Place
The Ballon d’Or selection process began with the creation of a 30-player shortlist of nominees. A jury of voters was then compiled by picking international journalists to make their selection of the top 5 footballers in the world. This selection is based on performance, player class and overall judgement of the player’s career.
Three of Benzema’s teammates at Madrid — Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric — also made the top 10 Ballon d’Or contenders list.
Below is the rest of the top 10:
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool – moved to Bayern Munich)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich – moved to Barcelona)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund – moved to Manchester City)
Benzema Wins Ballon d’Or 2022 – Acceptance Speech
In accepting the award onstage, Benzema said, “This prize in front of me makes me really proud. When I was small, it was a childhood dream, I never gave up… Anything is possible.”
The 34-year old also described his ordeal after being cut from the World Cup winning side in 1998. “There was a difficult period when I wasn’t in the French team but I never gave up. I’m really proud of my journey here. It wasn’t easy, it was a difficult time for my family as well.”
Benzema Wins Ballon d’Or 2022 – Adidas Lauds Striker
Attitude is gold. Family is gold. ????? is gold. ?#BallonDor @realmadrid @Benzema pic.twitter.com/Qo6QucIOEb
— adidas Football (@adidasfootball) October 18, 2022
To celebrate Benzema’s achievement, Adidas dropped a film and limited-product range. The film, entitled “Hand of Gold”, sees the Frenchman’s trademark hand bandage turn from white to gold, symbolising his La Liga, UCL and Ballon d’Or victories.
The sports brand also released a limited-edition golden X Speedportal boot, which has gold accents, sole plate and aglets in the colours of the French flag. Adidas have also collaborated with Real Madrid to create a gold name and number KB9 kit, which will be available for a limited time via October 18.
Benzema Wins Ballon d’Or 2022 – Other Awardees
During the ceremony, other awards were also handed out. These include the following:
Alexia Putellas, Ballon d’Or Feminin – The 28-year old Spain midfielder won the top female award for the second consecutive year, beating out England’s Beth Mead and Australia’s Sam Kerr
Thibaut Courtois, Yashin Trophy – The 30-year old Real Madrid keeper also placed 7th in the Ballon contenders list. He helped Los Blancos winning the La Liga title, as well as a brilliant display during the Champions League final against Liverpool.
Gavi, Kopa Trophy – The 18-year old midfielder succeeds fellow Barcelona and Spain teammate Pedri to win the best Under-21 player award this year.
Sadio Mane, Socrates Award – The 30-year old became the first recipient of this award, designed to honour gestures of solidarity by players.
Manchester City, Club of the Year – The English club successfully defended its Premier League title, nabbing their fourth title in five years. The Citizens also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.
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