In 2009, Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester united for a world record of 80 million Euros. To strengthen the attack, they signed Karim Benzema as the second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo for 35 million euros. On Monday, 17, Karim Benzema was crowned as the winner of the 2022 Ballon d’Or awards held at Chatelet Theater in Paris.
Karim Benzema captained the Real Madrid team that clinched the 2021/2022 European champions league and bagged 15 goals. He inspired Madrid’s path to victory after netting important goals against European bigwigs Paris Saint Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City.
In December 2006, Benzema was reluctant to sing the French Anthem after admitting that he played for France for sporting benefits but acknowledged Algeria as his paternal country. French police arrested Benzema for his alleged part in blackmailing fellow France international player Mathieu Valbuena over the alleged recording of a sex tape on a mobile phone. Later, he was dropped from the France national squad that clinched the 2018 world cup. His sheer handwork at Real Madrid earned him a spot back in France’s National team on May 2021.
Despite the off-pitch controversies, Karim Benzema has risen through the ranks and become the best player in the world. He was often criticized for poor performance as CR7 bagged goals for Real Madrid, but he stayed loyal to the team and after Ronaldo’s exit in 2018, Karim stepped up as Madrid’s main striker. At 34 years old, he has been able to blend well with youngsters Vinicius Jr, Valvade and Rodrigo.
Benzema is the second player after Luca Modric in 2018 to win the Ballon d’Or after over ten years of dominance by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. For the 12 years Benzema has played for Madrid, he has netted 328 goals.