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Karim Benzema becomes the first Frenchman since Zinedine Zidane in 1998 to win the Ballon d’Or

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By Martin Graham | 18th Oct 2022

Karim Benzema is the winner of the Ballon d’Or for 2022. The Frenchman had a fantastic season that saw him win almost all the trophies available.

After staying in the shadows of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for many years, Karim Benzema has finally received a fair reward for his performance. The Real Madrid striker emerged as the winner of the Ballon d’Or for 2022. He finished ahead of Sadio Mane and Kevin de Bruyne.

The Ballon d’Or ceremony took place on Monday night, filled with glitz and glamour as several football celebrities were in attendance. Following the controversy of the last event that saw Lionel Messi carting home an award he barely deserved, the organizers made a few adjustments to the ceremony.

Despite efforts to make the awards ceremony devoid of any controversy this time, it still managed to cop a few questions as regards some of the winners. Perhaps that is a question for another day, but the hero of the moment is Karim Benzema, and the Frenchman deserves the award after the barnstorming season he had with Real Madrid.

Karim Benzema is finally out of the shadows
The Frenchman has been a massive asset for Real Madrid. The work ethic and style of the Frenchman have been exemplary. He has worked with several great players at Real Madrid and finally hit the zenith by winning the most coveted awards. On Monday night, he received the Ballon d’Or award for Monday night.

In a season that will be hard to top for the Frenchman, he scored 44 goals in 46 matches and led the attack for Real Madrid as they won several trophies last term. Real Madrid beat Paris Saint-Germain, with Benzema scoring three goals. The Real Madrid striker also scored four against Chelsea and three against Manchester City as Real Madrid won the Champions League. Los Blancos also won La Liga, the Spanish and European Super Cups.

In a glitzy ceremony in Paris, Benzema received his prize from the 1998 winner and the last Frenchman to win the award – Zinedine Zidane. Benzema finished ahead of Sadio Mane in second and Kevin De Bruyne in third.

Benzema is the oldest Ballon D’Or winner since Stanley Matthews won the first edition of the prize in 1956.

Benzema speaks on winning the award
After receiving the award, Benzema made some heartwarming comments. The striker said he was proud of winning the award. Continuing on his feelings about winning the award,

According to the Real Madrid striker, it was a childhood dream like all kids. He said he had two motivations in life – Zidane and Ronaldo. He said he always had this dream in his mind that anything is possible.

Benzema also touched on the time he was out of the national team. The striker confessed it was a difficult period for him, but he kept fighting and never gave up. He said he always concentrated on playing football and is proud of his journey to the moment. He admitted it was hard for his family too, but he is happy to be here for the first time.

 

Benzema thanked his teammates at Real Madrid and the national team. He thanked his coach and the Real Madrid president. Carlo Ancelotti described Benzema as old wine that keeps getting better.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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