French forward Karim Benzema, the Ballon d’Or’s favourite, saw his exceptional season rewarded by the UEFA Player of the Year title on Thursday in Istanbul, alongside Spain’s Alexia Putellas, winner despite her absence from the Women’s Euro.
At 34 years old, Real Madrid’s N.9 was preferred to its partner Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City’s Belgian Kevin de Bruyne, logically outdone by the Madrid striker.
Winner of the Spanish Championship and the Champions League, with 44 goals in 46 matches with Real Madrid, and winner of the UEFA Nations League with Les Bleus, Benzema had a full season, which opened the doors to a first Ballon d’Or, at the ceremony scheduled for October 17th in Paris.
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