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Benzema of Real Madrid Becomes The Oldest Player To Win Ballon d’Or In 66 Years

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Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema became the oldest player and the first French player to win the Ballon d’Or at 34 after Stanley Matthews in 1956. “Age is just a number”, he said.

Backing the men’s Ballon d’Or, he said, “People play until their later years now and I still have this burning desire. It is this drive that has kept me going and never allowed me to let up.”

In 1998, Zinedine Zidane won the award after Raymond Kopa, Michel Platini, and Jean-Pierre Papin. 

Karim Benzema winner of Ballon d'Or 2022
Karim Benzema is the second-highest scorer for the the Real Madrid club after Cristiano Ronaldo

Benzema was the top scorer in both La Liga and the Champions League. He made 44 goals for Madrid, including 15 in Europe’s top competition, and matching Raul Gonzalez in being the second-highest scorer for the club, after Cristiano Ronaldo.

Benzema won ahead of Sadio Manè and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne. Last season, Manè played for Liverpool last season and in summer, joined Bayern Munich.

Benzema was not in the French squad that won the 2018 World Cup in Russia but will play in the tournament next month in Qatar.

Six years being out of the field after being involved in a sex tape scandal, Benzema was brought in by the France coach Didier Deschamps last year for the European Championship and has been there ever since.

After Zidane, his former coach at Madrid, gave him the trophy, he said, “There were much more difficult moments for me when I was not selected (in France) and I did not give up.” He continued, “I am proud of my career. This is the Golden Ball of the people.”

Continuous Ballon d’Or for Alexia Putellas 

Alexia Putellas
Alexia Putellas, midfielder for Spain and Barcelona, has backed the women’s trophy consecutively for two years

Alexia Putellas, a 28-year-old midfielder for Spain and Barcelona, has backed the women’s trophy consecutively for two years after her outstanding season with Barcelona.

Last season, Putella was the top scorer in the Championship League scoring 11 goals as well as 18 goals in the Primera Division. Additionally, she is titled FIFA Best Women’s Player earlier this year.

Other awards

Barcelona’s 18-year-old midfielder Gavi won the Kopa Trophy as the best under-21 player, while the Gerd Muller award was backed by Robert Lewandowski for this year’s best striker.

For the best goalkeeper, Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois won the Lev Yashin award. 

Sadio Manè won the humanitarian prize, named after the late Brazil midfielder Socrates, for his charity work in Senegal including building a hospital and for school donations.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City won the Best Club, which won their fourth Premier League title in five years.

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