Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema breaks 66-year record after winning 2022 Ballon d'Or

Karim Benzema won his first-ever Ballon d
Karim Benzema won his first-ever Ballon d'Or award on Monday.

Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema became the oldest Ballon d'Or winner since England legend Sir Stanley Matthews in 1956. The Englishman won the inaugural award at the age of 41.

Benzema, who turned 34 last December, led Real Madrid to a prestigious double last season with his world-class exploits on the pitch. A complete forward, he netted a whopping 44 goals and contributed 15 assists in 46 appearances across all competitions for Los Blancos.

Apart from guiding his team to the UEFA Champions League crown and the La Liga title, the striker also helped his club add the Supercopa de Espana trophy to their collection. He also helped France lift their first-ever UEFA Nations League trophy in October last year.

Benzema also picked up the esteemed Pichichi award in Spain for most goals scored in the league and the UEFA Champions League Golden Boot in the 2021-22 campaign.

An odds-on favorite for the Ballon d'Or since the end of last term, Benzema finished ahead of Bayern Munich's Sadio Mane and Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne. Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah complete the top five of the award.

Speaking after receiving the award at the ceremony, Benzema shared his elation about fulfilling a childhood dream. He said (via France Football):

"The prize in front of me makes me really proud. It's truly an honour. It was a childhood dream. I never gave up. When I was a kid, I had the motivation [to achieve it] and I had two role models in my life: [Zinedine] Zidane and Ronaldo."

Benzema also became the first France international to bag the prestigious award since Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane in 1998.

Meanwhile, four of his club teammates also secured a top-30 finish in the 2022 Ballon d'Or award list. Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Jr. and Luka Modric finished seventh, eighth and ninth respectively. Antonio Rudiger shared the 25th spot with five other players.

Barcelona forward Alexia Putellas won the Women's Ballon d'Or award. Barcelona teenager Gavi won the Kopa Trophy for the best U21 player.


Real Madrid star Thibaut Courtois claims Yashin Trophy as best goalkeeper

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois bagged the 2022 Yashin Trophy at the Ballon d'Or award ceremony in Paris on Monday (October 17).

Courtois, 30, played a crucial role in Los Blancos' trophy-laden season last time around. The Belgium international registered 22 clean sheets in 52 appearances, conceding 46 goals in the process.

He finished ahead of Liverpool's Alisson Becker, who picked up the inaugural award in 2019, and Manchester City's Ederson. Chelsea's Edouard Mendy and AC Milan's Mike Maignan completed the top five.

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