- Feb 23, 2024
- Mar 25, 2023
The Real Madrid captain and French forward, Karim Benzema was named the men’s winner of the Ballon d’Or 2022 on October 18, Monday, in Paris. He was declared an outright favourite to win the award. The striker from Real Madrid was rewarded for his ground-breaking performances in the 2021-2022 season, where Los Blancos secured a record-extending European title after a remarkable LaLiga campaign.
Legendary Footballer Zinedine Zidane was beaming with pride when he presented the award to Benzema during the showpiece event. After the former Real Madrid coach gave the trophy to Benzema at Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet, the interaction between the two superstars of the game has gone viral on the internet.
“Look at how happy Zinedine Zidane is for him. What a beautiful moment,” a Twitter user said. “Zinedine Zidane was always there for Karim Benzema,” another fan added.
It is interesting to note that after Zidane, Benzema is the first French player to win the Ballon d’Or. Zidane, one of football’s all-time greats, lifted the coveted trophy in 1998. In the same year, France won their first FIFA World Cup title under Zidane’s captaincy. Zidane also won a hattrick of UEFA Champions League titles
When he was coaching Los Blancos.
“Zizou (Zidane) is a big brother. He was my coach (at Real from 2016-18 and 2019-21), it means a lot to me. He’s the best French player in history, so it makes it even more special,” Benzema said after collecting the award from Zidane. “The prize in front of me makes me really proud. It’s truly an honour. It was a childhood dream. I never gave up. When I was a kid, I had the motivation [to achieve it] and I had two role models in my life: Zidane and Ronaldo.”
Benzema smashed 44 goals from 46 games for Real Madrid last season. He also scored 15 goals in this season of the UEFA Champions League. Benzema also won the UEFA Nations League title with France in the previous season.