Karim Benzema Real Madrid French Striker Wins Ballon D’or 2022
By Faris Al assam, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
Karim Benzema of Real Madrid collects the Ballon d’Or trophy from French former forward football player Zinedine Zidane.
Paris: France striker Karim Benzema received the Ballon d’Or on Monday at a ceremony in Paris, the award coming after his outstanding performances last season helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and La Liga.
Benzema, the first French recipient of the FIFA World Player of the Year award since Zinedine Zidane in 1998, scored 44 goals in 46 appearances for his club, including 15 in the Champions League.
Benzema, who also won the UEFA Nations League with France last season, moved ahead of Sadio Mane of Bayern Munich and Senegal.
Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City and Belgium finished third, with Robert Lewandowski of Barcelona and Poland finishing fourth.
A stunning career comeback for Benzema, who was barred from the France squad for five and a half years due to his involvement in a blackmail issue involving a sextape involving colleague Mathieu Valbuena, is capped by his receipt of the prize, which is presented by France Football magazine.
Later, he was punished for his role in the scandal with a one-year suspended jail term and a 75,000 euro ($73,848) fine.
He did, however, re-join the national squad for the European Championship last year, and he will now represent France in the World Cup in Qatar next month.
On December 19, the day following the World Cup championship, he will be 35. Since Stanley Matthews, the first winner of the Ballon d’Or in 1956, Benzema is the award’s oldest recipient.
In addition, the former Lyon striker is the sixth Frenchman to take home the trophy; Raymond Kopa, Michel Platini, and Jean-Pierre Papin all did so before Zinedine Zidane did it in 1998.
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