Karim Benzema and Alexia Putellas won the Ballon d’Or for the best men’s and women’s players of 2022 at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris early on Tuesday.
Spain’s Alexia Putellas won the women’s Ballon d’Or for the second year running on Monday, the reward coming after a season in which she was the top scorer as her club Barcelona reached the Champions League final. The 28-year-old Putellas saw off stiff competition, notably from three stars of the England team that won the European Championship, to take the award following a campaign which also saw Barcelona win a domestic league and cup double. The prize, awarded at a star-studded ceremony at the Chatelet Theatre in central Paris, is a consolation for Putellas who is currently recovering from a serious knee injury.
On the other hand, For Karim Benzema, winning the most prestigious individual award in football is the ultimate recognition for his remarkable performances with Real Madrid last season and confirmation that he is a player and a man transformed since his years in exile from the French national team because of a sextape scandal. Benzema, fresh from scoring for Real against Barcelona in Sunday’s Clasico, was the overwhelming favourite to win the Ballon d’Or in Monday’s ceremony in Paris. He is the fifth Frenchman to claim the prize, the first since Zinedine Zidane in 1998.
Premier League champions Manchester City were named the club of the year. Robert Lewandowski was adjudged the best striker, claiming the prize for the second season in a row. The Barcelona striker had scored 57 goals last season to take home the best striker trophy named after German great Gerd Muller. Real Madrid’s Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois picked the Yashin Trophy.