France international Karim Benzema has won the highest individual award in football, the Ballon d’Or, for the very first time in his career. Last night, the prize-giving ceremony took place in Paris, where Benzema received the Ballon d’Or, defeating three strong competitors, Kavin de Bruyne, Sadio Mane, and Robert Lewandowski.
A brief overview of the last season
Karim Benzema is 34, and by receiving this award, he became the oldest player since 1956 to win the Ballon d’Or for the first time. In the past 15 to 16 years, either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo has won Ballon d’Or. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has gone to another level, winning this award for a record seven times. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or on five occasions.
But both players had a poor season in the 2021-2022 campaign. On the other hand, Real Madrid’s striker Karim Benzema has had a magnificent season both for the club and the country. He scored 44 goals in 46 games in all competitions.
Benzema, however, stunned everyone with his performance in the UEFA Champions League last year. During Real Madrid’s record 14th Champions League win, he was the most influential player. Benzema scored 15 goals in the UCL that guided Real Madrid to win their 14th Champions League. Relying on him, Real Madrid made some brilliant comebacks in the UCL. Benzema’s hat trick against Paris Saint-Germain led Real Madrid to the final of this tournament.
Moreover, Real Madrid won the La Liga title in the same year, where Karim Benzema scored 27 goals and registered 15 assists on his name. Benzema also led his country to win the UEFA Nations League. Therefore, he became the strongest contender for the Ballon d’Or. After Zinedine Zidan, who won the trophy in 1998, Benzema became the first French player to win this award.
“I’m really proud, it’s a lot of work and a kid’s dream come true,” Benzema said after receiving the award. He added, “There were much more difficult moments for me, when I was not selected [with France] and I did not give up. I am really proud of my career. This is the Golden Ball of the people.”