Benzema crowned UEFA 2022 Men’s Player of the Year
by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
- Ancelotti, others, scoop UEFA awards
It is irrefutable, that Karim Benzema, the ace in the 2021-2022 season was extremely instrumental to the success of Los Blancos in the UEFA Champions League last season.
The Real Madrid talisman being crowned the UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year for his outstanding and unrivalled performances to seal victories for games that have been written off were one of a kind. His goal-scoring exploits both in the domestic league and Europe were stunning.
Inarguably without distorting facts, Benzema merited the award with overwhelming reasons and stats, including a haul of 15 goals in the UEFA Champions League campaign to hand Los Blancos a fourteenth Champions League trophy.
Shortlisted with his teammate goalie Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City forward Kevin de Bruyne, the Frenchman’s performances surpassed the duo’s distinctively, pipping them to claim the coveted award.
On the other hand, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti was awarded the Men’s Coach of the Year Award after leading his team to a UEFA Champions League and Spanish La Liga triumph last season.
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At 34, Benzema defied age constraints to take off the crown from Jorginho, Chelsea’s midfielder whose performances last two seasons ago, complemented the Blues’ success in conquering Europe.
Last season, Benzema’s hattrick and a goal in the first and second leg respectively in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, sent Chelsea packing and later went on to win the trophy in France.
Synonymously, both Madrid’s Benzema and Ancelloti took the crowns of Chelsea’s duo, Jorginho and Tuchel, UEFA 2021 champions.
During his speech, coach Ancelotti described the Los Blancos talisman as a fantastic striker with a great football attitude.
“Karim is not only a fantastic striker, he is a fantastic footballer with a great attitude,” Los Blancos manager said.
Despite being a good friend to the Italian gaffer, Benzema has improved in knowledge and commands leadership in the dressing room.
Ancelotti continued: “This year, he improved his knowledge. His leadership… he is a strong leader in the dressing room.
“He is a good friend of mine… this is not the reason he is going to play, he is going to play the best! We are lucky to have Karim.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona’s Alexia Putella retained her crown after edging England and Arsenal sensational star Beth Mead to the Women’s Player of the Year award.
While Mead was pipped by the Spanish sensation to the Women’s crown, Lionesses coach Sarina Wiegman, who guided England to a continental triumph against the Germans in the final, was crowned the Women’s Coach of the Year award.