Karim Benzema, who had a breakthrough season at Real Madrid in 2022, has won the Ballon d’Or for the first time.

The French forward had an outstanding season in 2021–2022, helping Los Blancos win both domestic and continental championships.

In 46 appearances for Madrid in all competitions, Benzema scored 44 goals and provided 15 assists, contributing to a goal every 66.4 minutes as the team won La Liga and another UEFA Champions League crown.

Particularly his performance in the Champions League has established him as a deserving 2022 Ballon d’Or winner. In that competition alone, the 34-year-old scored 15 goals, 10 of which came just in the knockout stages.

Benzema’s remarkable hat-trick against PSG, which helped his team pull off an incredible comeback victory, and a few crucial goals against Manchester City in the semifinal were among the highlights of that Champions League season.

Benzema joins Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini, Jean-Pierre Papin, and Raymond Kopa as the fifth French winner overall and the first French player to win the Ballon d’Or since Zidane back in 1998.

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