Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award after his stellar 2021/22 season.
Club-mate Thibaut Courtois – who was named man of the match for his heroics in May’s Champions League final win over Liverpool – and Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne have been named in the final shortlist. But the gong went to Benzema in Thursday’s 2022/23 Champions League group stage draw in Istanbul.
The France international led Los Blancos to their 14th Champions League title, scoring big goals at key moments in knockout games against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City when his team needed him most.
Benzema also played a key role in Real Madrid’s campaign to win La Liga as they wrested the Spanish crown back from rivals Atlético Madrid.
Benzema scored an incredible 44 goals in 46 games for Real Madrid in all competitions last season, forming a formidable partnership with the once-maligned Vinicius Junior.
With UEFA’s top prize now in his possession, he will now set his sights on winning the Ballon d’Or in October. Benzema is widely expected to become the first Frenchman since Zinedine Zidane to win the award.