Karim Benzema wins 2022 Ballon D’or

Karim Benzema has been named the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner.

Benzema won the Ballon d’Or for the first time in his career.

The Frenchman becomes only the second player aside from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award since 2008. Benzema’s Real Madrid team-mate Luka Modric won the prize in 2018.

This year’s Ballon d’Or is awarded for performance in the 2021-22 season, rather than the calendar year. Last season, Benzema was in scintillating form.

The Real Madrid striker scored 44 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions in a season where Carlo Ancelotti’s side won La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.

His performances in the Champions League drew huge acclaim. He scored hat-tricks in the last-16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain and in the quarter-final first leg against Chelsea.

He scored again in the decisive second leg against the London club before striking again in both the semi-final first and second legs against Manchester City.

After Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final in Paris, BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand said: “I think the argument is over for the Ballon d’Or.

“If Karim Benzema does not get his hands on the Ballon d’Or then it will be a travesty.”

The closest Benzema came to winning the Ballon d’Or before 2022 was last year when he finished fourth in the voting. He received 239 points which was 374 behind winner Messi.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo finished in 20th this year.

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