Although there were winners in all the categories, the night’s biggest winners were the Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema and the Barcelona Femeni captain Alexia Putellas, who were named the best male and female footballers of 2022.
Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria, who placed 16th out of the 30 players who were shortlisted, also made history by becoming the first African woman to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or.
After being nominated for the award nine times in the past, Benzema was finally crowned king.
After a standout season leading the line for Real Madrid, the French forward was the clear favorite to win this year.
The 34-year-old scored significant goals that helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and the Spanish league championship last season.
During the 2021–2022 season, Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 appearances, including an incredible 15 goals in the Champions League.
However, For Putellas, who also won last year, it was a second consecutive victory; however, this is Benzema’s first Ballon d’Or award in history.
With 11 goals in 10 games, Putellas led Barca in goals scored in the Champions League the previous season. Chelsea forward Sam Kerr came in third, followed by Arsenal striker Beth Mead in second.
In addition to placing among the top four, Mane received the inaugural Socrates Prize from France Football for his charitable work in his native Senegal.
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