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Karim Benzema Ballon d’Or winner: goals, performance and statistics this season

It really doesn’t get any better than the kind of year that the Frenchman just had, but let’s review it anyway.

Karim Benzema Ballon d’Or winner: goals, performance and statistics this season

If one thing can be said about the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, it’s that he’s completely deserving of the award after the incredible season he just completed with Real Madrid.

The 2021-22 season was sensational for Karim Benzema

From the very early stages of the 2021-22 season, it was pretty obvious that Karim Benzema was firing on all cylinders. Indeed, the French striker won the UEFA Nations League with his national team last October, before going on to add another Super Copa de Espana, a La Liga title and the UEFA Champions league as well. In each of those competitions Benzema played a central role for his teams and without doubt enjoyed the best goalscoring form of his glittering career, which by the way doesn’t seem to be slowing down. As things stand, Madrid’s No. 9 has already bagged three goals across five matches in the 2022-23 campaign.

Karim Benzema by the numbers in 2021-22

As former England international, Owen Hargreaves put it on BT Sport following Benzema’s performance against Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup back in August, “When you think back to the history of Real Madrid, Zidane with that outstanding goal against Leverkusen, Benzema has produced whenever they’ve needed him to have a big moment.” Indeed, he has and quite frankly, the numbers show it.

Across all competitions for Madrid in 2021-22, Benzema registered 44 goals and 15 assists in 46 appearances and averaged a direct goal contribution every 66.42 minutes. If that’s not enough, consider the fact that the 34-year-old got himself either a goal or an assist in 32 of the 46 games that he played across the campaign. Even more incredible is the fact that he registered more direct goal contributions than goal machine Robert Lewandowski who had 57, Mohamed Salah with 47, Erling Haaland’s 37 and Ciro Immobile who had 36. Where the La Liga itself is concerned, Benzema scored 27 goals and assisted on 12 occasions. That’s to say he was directly responsible for 48.7% of Madrid’s goals on the season. Fittingly he finished as the league’s top scorer and was just edged out by Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele for most assists.

What other statistics made Karim Benzema’s 2021-22 so special?

Here’s one for you statisticians out there: Benzema scored 10 goals in the Champions League knockout stages of the 2021-22 campaign. Why’s that special? With that tally, he’s now tied at the top for most goals in a single campaign with his former teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo (2016-17). We should also mention, that he became just the second player to score consecutive UEFA Champions League hat-tricks in the knockout stages, with the aforementioned Ronaldo once again being the other player to do it against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in that said same campaign of 2017. Last but not least, the former Lyon striker, is only the fourth player to win both the Pichichi trophy - La Liga’s award for the top goals corer - as well as the UEFA Champions League’s Golden Boot in the very same season. As we mentioned above, 2021-22 was simply sensational for Karim Benzema.