Real Madrid's Karim Benzema reacts during La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Karim Benzema Wins 2022 Ballon D’Or

The Ballon d’Or is the pinnacle of individual achievement in soccer. A stellar season is crucial. Many legends go without winning the prestigious award, displaying the level of play needed to secure the golden trophy. Winning the award cements a player’s place in soccer history. Monday, Karim Benzema took this step, stamping his eternal place in the storybook of the great game.

The Real Madrid forward won the 2022 Ballon d’Or after a stellar 2021-2022 season. This is Benzema’s first and Madrid’s twelfth Ballon d’Or win.

“We are very happy to have another player who is capable of winning the Ballon d’Or,” Real Madrid President Florentino Perez said. “Everyone knows I went to Benzema’s house to get him to Madrid. I’m so happy to see him win the Ballon d’Or. I’ve been a fan for 13 years.”

This win bookends a stellar season for the Spanish club. Real Madrid trebled this past season, winning the Champions League, Spanish Super Cup and its 35th La Liga title.

Benzema Accolades

Benzema was one of the primary contributors for Los Blancos throughout its dominant campaign. The French forward scored 44 goals and assisted 15 in his 46 matches for the Spanish giants. This included a 27-goal and 12-assist La Liga campaign.

Benzema won the La Liga golden boot with his 27-goal campaign. The Frenchman scored 10 more goals than the Spanish league’s second-leading goal-scorers (a three-way tie between Raúl De Tomás, Iago Aspas and Real Madrid teammate Vinicius Jr.). Benzema also placed second in La Liga assists, trailing one behind Ousmane Dembélé’s 13.

Benzema beat out players like AFCON winner and Champions League runner-up Sadio Mane. Bundesliga Golden Boot winner Robert Lewandowski and teammate Vinicius Jr. were among other finalists for the prestigious award.

About Connor O'Bryan

Connor O'Bryan is a world soccer reporter for ESPN Gainesville. He also sometimes covers baseball and other sports. He has previously written for WUFT Gainesville and for Atrium Magazine. Connor also cohosts the "Off The Bar Podcast", a student driven podcast that focuses on the global soccer landscape.

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