Benzema and Botillas win the Ballon d’Or awards for the best players in the world

  • Real Madrid’s French player Benzema won the Men’s Player of the Year award
  • Barcelona midfielder Putillas wins the Women’s Award
  • Pep Guardiola chooses Manchester City as the best club

PARIS (Reuters) – Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d’Or award for the best player in the world on Monday, while Barcelona’s Spanish midfielder Alexia Butillas won the women’s award for the second time.

Benzema, who played a pivotal role in Real’s access to the Champions League title last season, is the first French player to win the title since Zinedine Zidane in 1998 and the fifth after Raymond Kopa, Michel Platini and Jean-Pierre Papin.

“This award in front of me makes me really proud. When I was young it was my childhood dream and I never gave up… Anything is possible,” Benzema said on stage at the ceremony.

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“There was a difficult period when I wasn’t in the French national team but I never gave up. I’m really proud of my trip here. It wasn’t easy, it was a tough time for my family too.”

Benzema beat Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne after Argentine Lionel Messi won the award for the seventh time last year.

Benzema had a fantastic season with Real Madrid, scoring 44 goals in 46 games in all competitions, helping guide them to the La Liga and Champions League double. His 15 goals in the Champions League led Real Madrid to a record 14th title.

Real made a notable comeback from losing places in the Round of 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City respectively – Benzema scored in each of the second legs.

The highlight of their European campaign was the 3-1 return leg win over Paris Saint-Germain when the Spanish club trailed 2-0 on aggregate, as Benzema scored a hat-trick in 17 minutes in the second half to stun the Ligue 1 side. .

Potilas wins again

Spain international Putillas won the Women’s Ballon d’Or for the second year in a row, defeating England’s European Championship winner Beth Meade and Australia’s Sam Kerr.

Botellas, who was named the league’s player of the year earlier this year, was the Champions League’s top scorer last season with 11 goals and 18 goals in Serie A.

The 28-year-old missed the Euros for Spain, after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury on the eve of the tournament in England.

Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois won the Liv Yashin award for best goalkeeper last season, saving the towering goalkeeper nine times in the final to keep a clean sheet against Liverpool in a 1-0 win in Paris.

However, the teams lost out in the Champions League final for the best club award, which went to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City winning the Premier League title for the fourth time in five years.

Barcelona midfielder Jaffe, 18, was awarded the Cuban Under-21 Player of the Year award, while Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane won the inaugural Socrates award, with the Senegal international being recognized for his humanitarian efforts.

Lewandowski did not return home empty-handed as he was awarded the Gerd Muller Award for Best Striker after scoring 50 goals in all competitions for Bayern last season.

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(Reporting by Julian Brittout and Rohith Nair) Editing by Ken Ferris

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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