Favorite of the Ballon d’Or which will be awarded on October 17, French striker Karim Benzema saw his crazy season greeted by the title of best UEFA player of the year, Thursday in Istanbul.
He receives this distinction for the first time in his career.
At 34, the number 9 of Real Madrid was preferred to his partner Thibaut Courtois and the Belgian of Manchester City Kevin de Bruyne, surpassed by the Madrid striker, winner of the Spanish Championship and the Champions League with Real and the League of Nations with the France team.
Author of 44 goals in 46 games with Real, Benzema has had a season worthy of the Ballon d’Or, which will be awarded on October 17 in Paris.
He becomes the second French player to be awarded this prize, after Franck Ribéry in 2013. Before him, two Real Madrid players had been crowned: Cristiano Ronaldo (2014, 2016, 2017) and Luka Modric in 2018.
« KB9 » succeeds the Italian Jorginho.
Among the women, the Spaniard Alexia Putellas, Ballon d’Or 2021, was proclaimed player par excellence for the second consecutive year.
The Barça playmaker (28) was rewarded despite her absence during the Women’s Euro, a major competition of the year which she missed due to injury.
Finalist of the Champions League (3-1 defeat against Lyon) and champion of Spain with 30 victories in 30 games, Putellas is ahead in particular of the Englishwoman Beth Mead, best player and co-top scorer of the Euro.
The 20-year-old German Lena Oberdorf was also mentioned among the three finalists.
In addition, the prize for the best coach was given to Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid), architect of the 14th C1 of the Madrid club, while for the women’s teams, it is the coach of England, the Dutch Sarina Wiegman, which has been sacred.