Real Madrid and France’s Karim Benzema has won the 2022 Ballon d’Or title on the men’s side after topping the 2021-22 season voting. The 34-year-old had been the strong favorite heading into the Theatre du Chatelet and has now been named the first French winner since Zinedine Zidane back in 1998 with Juventus. Barcelona and Spain’s Alexia Putellas took the women’s crown for the second consecutive year to become the first female player to win the top prize twice and back-to-back.
Here are the winners:
Men’s Ballon d’Or: Real Madrid and France’s Karim Benzema
It was always going to take something special to follow in the footsteps of Lionel Messi’s incredible seventh Ballon d’Or title but that is what Benzema produced in the 2021-22 season with Real. With 15 Champions League goals and two assists from 12 outings, including an astonishing haul of 10 knockout phase goals en route to the title, it was always going to be a strong case for the Frenchman. However, 27 goals and 12 assists from 31 La Liga appearances as Real finished top plus Les Bleus’ UEFA Nations League triumph meant that nobody could truly compete individually or collectively. Benzema succeeds Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina’s Messi as titleholder with a tally of 47 competitive goals and 16 assists across competitions.
Women’s Ballon d’Or: Barcelona and Spain’s Alexia Putellas
For the second straight year, the 28-year-old wins the top women’s prize despite missing this summer’s Euros with an ACL injury. The defending champion remained dominant with the Catalan giants with 18 goals and 15 assists to help secure a third consecutive Primera Division crown as part of a domestic treble which Putellas chipped in 34 goals towards. Barca lost out to Olympique Lyonnais in the women’s Champions League, but the Spaniard was still voted the best player and top scored with 11 goals. Internationally, she also made her 100th appearance with four goals from seven outings just this year.
Gerd Muller Trophy: Barcelona and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski
Two years into this award and the 34-year-old has established a 100 percent win rate by taking the two maiden titles. Lewandowski tallied 59 competitive goals and 10 assists in his final season with Bayern and 13 of those came in the Champions League while 35 were scored in the German Bundesliga. Add in one of two goals to qualify Poland for this winter’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar ahead of Sweden and it has been another strong year for the now Barca man.
Yashin Trophy: Real Madrid and Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois
The 30-year-old was in one of the main supporting roles behind Benzema as Real went on their tear towards the end of last season to win the Champions League, La Liga, the UEFA Super Cup and the Supercopa de Espana. Courtois succeeds PSG and Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma with 23 competitive clean sheets across all competitions.
Kopa Trophy: Barcelona and Spain’s Gavi
Another year, another Barca winner as Gavi follows on from Pedri as the brightest young talent in the soccer world. Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham might feel that he had a strong case to pip the Spain international to the prize, but the Englishman will have to wait again after finishing second and now fourth.
Club of the Year: Manchester City
Well, it wasn’t Real Madrid as the award went to Manchester City, with six total Ballon d’Or nominees, including Lucy Bronze on the women’s team. Los Blancos finished in third despite winning La Liga and the Champions League, while Liverpool finished in second.
Socrates Trophy: Bayern Munich and Senegal’s Sadio Mane
The Bayern man was the winner of the inaugural Socrates Trophy on Monday which rewards players involved in humanitarian efforts. Senegal international Mane, who left Liverpool this summer, was recognized for his contribution towards development in his home country where the 30-year-old has helped to build schools and hospitals — notably in his hometown of Bambali.