Karim Benzema has been named Ballon d’Or winner for 2022, with the Real Madrid striker enjoying an incredible calendar year.
The Frenchman has been handed his just reward for a season which has seen the Real Madrid man perform head and shoulders above the rest of the pack, playing an instrumental role in Champions League and La Liga wins.
The France international enjoyed a remarkable 2021-22 campaign at Santiago Bernabeu, with a stunning 44-goal haul.
He found the target on 27 occasions in the Spanish top flight last season and 15 times in European competition.
Benzema has been a revelation for Madrid, helping to fill the void created by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure in 2018 while also taking on captaincy duties following Sergio Ramos’ move to Paris Saint-Germain.
He has now been recognised as the world’s best by his peers, with competition from the likes of Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mane, Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland seen off to land the prestigious Golden Ball.
Benzema is the fifth Frenchman to take home football’s most prestigious individual accolade – another Real Madrid icon in Raymond Kopa won in 1958, Michel Platini pulled off a hat-trick from 1983 to 1985, and Marseille legend Jean-Pierre Papin was crowned winner in 1991.