Alexia Putillas and Karim Benzema have been chosen as the winners of the 2022 Ballon d’Or at the annual Football Awards in Paris.
Botelas retains her title as the world’s best player after leading Barcelona to another Spanish title, scoring 18 goals in the process. Barcelona won all 30 of its league matches and also won the Spanish Cup and the Super Cup, but lost the UEFA Women’s Champions League final to Lyon and missed the Euro after suffering an injury in the AFC Champions League.
“I am very happy to be back here,” Putillas said. “Last year’s win made me want to be better. Without my teammates, this wouldn’t have been possible. I would like to thank the coaches and coaching staff who helped me improve every day.”
Benzema won the men’s award for the first time after leading Real Madrid With the Spanish title and their 14th European Cup. The 34-year-old scored 27 goals in La Liga and was also the Champions League’s top scorer with 15. Ten of those goals came in the knockout stages, including a hat-trick against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea. He is the first Frenchman to win the award since Zinedine Zidane in 1998.
After receiving a warm welcome from the crowd, Benzema said: “This award in front of me makes me really proud. I never gave up, it was my childhood dream. There was a difficult period when I wasn’t in the France team, but I kept working hard. I kept in my head a joy Playing football. I am really proud of my trip here.”
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, tweeted, “KB9!” With the French flag after the result. Macron then posted a second tweet that read: “Two letters and a number will go down in football history. Twenty-four years after Zidane, Karim Benzema brings the new Ballon d’Or to France. Congratulations to him!”
Beth Mead was ranked second in the women’s vote after helping England to glory at Euro 2022. The Arsenal striker scored six goals and added five assists to win the Golden Boot of the tournament and the Best Player award.
Australia and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr came third, ahead of Germany and Wolfsburg midfielder Lina Oberdorf. Potellas’ Spain and Barcelona teammate Aitana Bonmatti completed the top five.
Sadio Mane, who left Liverpool for Bayern Munich this summer, came second in the men’s vote and won the Socrates Award for his charitable work in Senegal. Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne finished third, his highest ranking so far ahead of Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah.
Lewandowski, who joined Barcelona from Bayern Munich this summer, came fourth in the men’s standings and also won the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best striker in the world. “I would like to thank my teammates from both Bayern and Barcelona, because I know how hard it is to work on scoring goals,” he said.
Salah ranked fifth, while Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe ranked sixth. Thibaut Courtois won the title of Leif Yashin for the best goalkeeper in the world and ranked seventh in the overall standings, with his Real Madrid teammates Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric in eighth and ninth places. Erling Haaland (10th) finished 10th in the top 10 for the first time.
Spain and Barcelona midfielder Jaffe won the Copa Cup for the best under-21 player after the success of his teammate Pedri last season. Manchester City was named Team of the Year after Pep Guardiola’s side won their fourth Premier League title in five seasons.
Changes in the format of the awards, organized by France Football magazine, mean that for the first time, performances were judged during the 2021-22 season rather than the calendar year. The men’s jury has also been reduced from 170 to 100, with 50 judges for the women’s award.
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”