Karim Benzema and Alexia Putellas win Ballon d’Or awards

Ballon d’Or 2022 title went to Karim Benzema after an outstanding season.

Karim Benzema lifted the prestigious award for the first time in his career after a stellar season with Real Madrid last season. He became the oldest winner since England’s Stanley Matthews won the very first Ballon d’Or in 1956.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had won 12 of the last 13 Ballon d’Ors – with Real Madrid’s Luka Modric winning the sole trophy in 2018 – but this time around Messi was not even nominated for the 2022 award. Ronaldo finished 20th this year.

Karim Benzema says he has become more ambitious with age

“Winning this trophy was always in the back of my mind but what has changed since I turned 30 is ambition,” Benzema said

“Ambition really entered my head after that. Ambition means working harder and being a leader for my team and I am lucky to play for Madrid, the best club in the world. When I was 21, or 22, I didn’t have the same ambition I have today.”

“I have been through difficult moments, where I wasn’t playing for the national team and so was alone at Valdebebas (Real’s training ground) because everyone else was away playing for their countries. I am very happy and very proud of the work I have put in.”

Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas grabbed the Ballon d’Or Feminin for the second year

Instead, Alexia Putellas’s performances with Barcelona were recognized after she top-scored in the Women’s Champions League to help the Catalans reach the final, which they lost to Lyon.

“It makes me even more annoyed to be injured, but I am very happy to be here,” Putellas said.

“To retain the trophy is much harder. When I injured my knee I thought my chances of winning it had gone but in the end, the jury based their decision on the whole of last season, of which I only missed one month.”

Men’s Ballon d’Or Top 20 Standings

1. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

2. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

3. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

4. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona/Bayern Munich)

5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

6. Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

7. Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)

8. Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)

9. Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

10. Erling Haaland (Manchester City/Borussia Dortmund)

11. Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

12. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)

13. Sébastien Haller (Ajax Amsterdam / Borussia Dortmund)

14. Rafael Leao (AC Milan)

14. Fabinho (Liverpool)

16. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

17. Casemiro (Real Madrid/Manchester United)

17. Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina/Juventus Turin)

17. Luis Diaz (Porto/Liverpool)

20. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Manchester United)

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