Sport

Benzema wins 2022 Ballon d’Or

Karim Benzema, Real Madrid striker and captain, has been named the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner.

The French striker beat Sadio Mane and Robert Lewandowski to claim the coveted gong at the ceremony held at the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris, France on Monday evening.

Benzema led Real Madrid to their 14th UEFA Champions League (UCL) title, scoring 15 goals in the season.

He was also named the UCL player of the season as his superb form in the competition’s knockout stages led Madrid into the final.

The 35-year-old scored back-to-back hat-tricks in the second round and quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea respectively, while his extra-time penalty knocked out Manchester City in the semi-final.

Benzema also inspired the Galacticos to secure their 35th Spanish La Liga title, finishing the league as the top scorer with 27 goals.

Mane won the Socrates Trophy –a new award — for his humanitarian and philanthropic efforts in Senegal.

In the women’s category, Alexia Putellas, Barcelona’s midfielder, became the first player to clinch two consecutive Ballon d’Or Femeni — after winning the gong last year.

She was named ‘UEFA Player of the Year’ in August and also won a league and cup double with Barcelona. She also helped the team to reach a second consecutive women’s UCL final.

Gavi claimed the Kopa Trophy, the award for best performing player under the age of 21.

The 18-year-old beat off competition from Eduard Camavinga and Jude Bellingham to claim the award.

Thibaut Courtois won the best goalkeeper award while also finishing seventh in this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Men’s Ballon d’Or: Karim Benzema
Women’s Ballon d’Or: Alexia Putellas
Kopa Trophy: Gavi
Yashin Trophy: Thibaut Courtois
Best Striker of the Year: Robert Lewandowski
Best Club: Manchester City
Socrates Trophy: Sadio Mane

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