Benzema Wins First Ballon D’or Award

Karim Benzema won his first Ballon d’Or for his career-best 2021-22 season at an awards ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Real Madrid captain Benzema was highly anticipated for Monday’s top honors after helping the Spanish giants to its league double in LaLiga and Champions League last season. He was a front-runner in both competitions, he scored 44 goals in 46 games and won his fifth European Championship in 2021-22.

Due to a format change, the Ballon d’Or was awarded based on his regular season results for the first time, rather than the calendar year, ahead of World Cup in November-December.

Liverpool striker Sadio Mane finished second, and Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Robert Lewandowski came third and fourth respectively. Mohamed Salah was fifth and Paris Saint-Germain’s prolific French international Kylian Mbappe was sixth. Lewandowski was awarded best striker, while Gerd won the Müller Prize. Benzema was awarded the Ballon d’Or by former Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

Benzema has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or 10 times so far, but He break into the top 10 for the first time in 2021, finishing fourth. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi who was not nominated this year won his seventh Ballon d’Or in 2021.

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