Paris (The Hawk): After a brilliant season with Real Madrid, which saw the Spanish giants win both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, French striker Karim Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d'Or here. Also Read - Real Madrid versus FC Barcelona, El Clasico, LaLiga 2022: Real Madrid Win El Clasico By 3-1
Alexia Putellas of Spain won the women's trophy for a second consecutive year after another outstanding campaign with Barcelona.
Benzema had his finest season ever at Madrid, finishing with 44 goals in 46 games and became the top scorer in both domestic and continental competitions, according to Xinhua. He is the first French player to win the coveted individual football award since Zinedine Zidane in 1998. The 34-year-two old's consecutive hat-tricks against Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 and Chelsea in the quarterfinals during the knockout stages of the Champions League were a highlight.
"This is a triumph for everyone. Although it is an individual prize, you cannot win without your teammates. You might occasionally see a screamer, but for me, football is a team sport, and I will always support my teammates, Benzema stated.
For the first time in the award's history, the Ballon d'Or was given based on performance over the previous season rather than accomplishments over a 12-month period.
Second place went to Senegalese striker Sadio Mane, who this summer transferred from Liverpool to Bayern Munich, and third place went to Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City.
Robert Lewandowski, a summer acquisition by Barcelona, was named the greatest striker for the second year in a row. The Pole also placed fourth on the Ballon d'Or list as a whole. Gavi, a fellow midfielder for Barcelona, was awarded the Kopa Trophy as the finest young player.
Thibaut Courtois, Benzema's club partner, received the Yashin Trophy for being the best goalkeeper.
(Inputs from Agencies)