Real Madrid’s French striker Karim Benzema won the Ballon d’Or award for the best player in the world on Monday at the ceremony organized annually by “France Football” magazine in Paris.
Benzema, winner of the Spanish League and the Champions League with Real Madrid, and the European Nations League with France, received his award from his compatriot and former coach Zinedine Zidane, who won it in 1998.
Benzema became the fifth French player to win this award after Raymond (1958), Michel Platini (1983, 1984, 1985), Jean-Pierre Papin (1991) and Zidane (1998).
Senegalese former Liverpool star Sadio Mane and current Bayern Munich came in second, Belgian Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City star, third, and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, the current Barcelona striker, and former Bayern Munich, fourth.
The Egyptian Mohamed Salah, the Liverpool star, finished fifth, and the French Mbappe, the Belgian Courtois, the Brazilian Vinicius, the Croatian Luka Modric and the Norwegian Erling Haaland completed the top ten ranking.
The award for the best club went to Manchester City, the English Premier League champion, and the Belgian Thibaut Courtois, Benzema’s colleague, won the award for the best goalkeeper in the world, the Spanish player Javi of Barcelona, the best young player award, the Spanish Alexia, the Barcelona player, the best player award, and the Senegalese Mane won the award for the late Brazilian Socrates for humanitarian works.
Poland and FC Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski won the Gerd Muller Award for the best scorer in the world, for the second year in a row.
Lewandowski, 34, who moved this summer from Bayern Munich to Barcelona for 45 million euros, scored 57 goals in 56 games in all competitions during the 2021-2022 season (50 goals for the club and 7 for his country).
During the 2020-2021 season, Lewandowski scored 56 goals in 50 matches in various competitions.
In his last season with the Bavarian team, the Polish was crowned top scorer in the German League with 35 goals in 34 matches, knowing that during the 2020-2021 season he achieved higher and better numbers by scoring 41 goals in 29 games, more than the late legend Gerd Muller, who held the record for half Century (since 1971-1972 season).