Benzema Breaks Messi, Ronaldo Streak To Win 2022 Ballon d'OR

Fridah Wangechi | 1 year ago
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema after he won the 2022 Ballon d'Or.. PHOTO:AP

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema on Monday, October 17, won the Ballon d'Or which is awarded to the best footballer of the year for the first time ever in his career.

Benzema had a fantastic season winning Champions League and Spanish La Liga titles as Real Madrid's forward, scoring 44 goals in 46 games in 2021 to 2022.

He has hence broken the winning streak for Paris Saint-Germain's Lionel Messi and Manchester United's Christiano Ronaldo who have taken home the award 12 out of the 13 times the event has been held, with 7 and 5 wins respectively.

Benzema trounced Bayern Munich's Sadio Mane, who was at Liverpool in 2021-22 and Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne who were all gunning for the prestigious award.

"This prize in front of me makes me really proud. When I was small, it was a childhood dream, I never gave up. Anything is possible," he said.

"I'm really proud of my journey here. It wasn't easy, it was a difficult time for my family as well. To be here today, the first time for me. I am just really, really happy, thanks to my teammates, with Real Madrid and the national team", he further added.

He is the ffifth Frenchman to win it after Raymond Kopa, Michel Platini, Jean-Pierre Papin and Zinedine Zidane.

Benzema's performance in the year set him up for success with his 44 goals which included a hat-trick in 17 second-half minutes against PSG in the Champions League, and another away to Chelsea in the quarter-final first leg.

He also scored three more goals over two legs of the semi-final against Manchester City.

In fact his winning streak is highly anticipated for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar slated for next month where he will be playing for France.

The women's award went to Barcelona star Alexia Putellas, who pipped runner-up Beth Mead of England to the prize after guiding the Catalan club to the Spanish title with a 100 per cent points tally.