We now know that Karim Benzema will carry the title of best player on the planet for the next 12 months, with the Real Madrid superstar walking away with top honours at the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris.
The French striker enjoyed a remarkable campaign at Santiago Bernabeu in 2021-22, with 44 goals recorded across all competitions. He has taken on captaincy duties in the Spanish capital and helped to fill the void created by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure in 2018.
Few could argue against Benzema landing the first Golden Ball of his distinguished career, with there the promise of more to come from him and Real Madrid heading forward. With domestic and continental titles to defend, the reigning kings of La Liga and the Champions League are eager to keep lining their pockets with medals.
Carlo Ancelotti boasts enough talent at his disposal to make that possible and anybody thinking of nailing their colours to the Blancos’ mast can find useful advice on the best sports leagues to bet on at bet365 and a full review of the Unibet sportsbook app at https://puntersport.com/, along with information on various referral codes and bonuses.
Benzema should continue to attract plenty of support as he seeks to emulate the efforts of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi by defending the Ballon d’Or. He certainly appears to be in the right place when it comes to bolstering a collection of individual honours, with the Bernabeu enhancing a notable record in the current calendar year.
As things stand, Real Madrid have seen more Ballon d’Or winners cross their path than any other club. That is perhaps not all that surprising given their rich history of trophy collecting, but it is still a source of great pride.
The legendary Alfredo Di Stefano, with two successes to his name, was the first Blancos player to land a Golden Ball, as covered by https://goal.com. Raymond Kopa is sandwiched between Di Stefano’s triumphs, while Luis Figo took first prize in the year 2000.
French icon Zinedine Zidane has also spent time at the Bernabeu, while England international striker Michael Owen made his way to Madrid from Liverpool in a memorable 2001 that saw him recognised as the best player in European football by France Football.
A year later and Brazilian striker Ronaldo followed up a World Cup win with a Ballon d’Or party, with former Italy skipper Fabio Cannavaro – who, as pointed out by https://90min.com, remains the last defender to win the award – doing likewise in 2006.
Benzema has now been added to that list, taking Real’s haul of Golden Ballers to eight. They are now two clear of eternal rivals Barcelona and boast the same number of total wins (12) as Clasico foes from Camp Nou.
Juventus and AC Milan – who have seen the likes of Michel Platini, Zidane, Pavel Nedved, Marco van Basten, Andriy Shevchenko and Kaka grace their books – also have six winners apiece. Four Manchester United players, including George Best and Ronaldo, have collected Ballons d’Or while the likes of Lothar Matthaus and R9 have Inter sat on three triumphs.