UEFA has announced Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema as the winner of the Player of the Year while Carlo Ancelotti was named Coach of the Year for the previous season. Alexia Putellas won the Women’s Player of the Year.
The title brings Benzema one step closer to his expected triumph in the prestigious Ballon d’Or on Oct. 17. The Real Madrid forward was incredible last season, scoring 42 goals between La Liga and the Champions League, leading his club to a famous double.
The 34-year-old, who also helped France to UEFA Nations League success, held off competition from club-mate Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
While, in past years, UEFA has also presented individual position-specific awards, with the Best Goalkeeper, Best Defender, Best Midfielder, and Best Forward, the football body said those awards have been scrapped.
It is not immediately clear whether those awards have been eliminated permanently or just for this season.
Carlo Ancelotti led Real Madrid to the club’s record 14th Champions League crown en route to a domestic & continental double.
Ancelotti is the only coach in history to have won four Champions League titles, twice with AC Milan and now twice with Real Madrid. He also previously won the competition twice as a player with AC Milan.
The awards were announced during the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Istanbul.
Votes for players:
1 Karim Benzema (Real Madrid & France) – 523 points
2 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium) – 122 points
3 Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid & Belgium) – 118 points
4 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern, now Barcelona & Poland) – 54 points
5 Luka Modrić (Real Madrid & Croatia) – 52 points
6 Sadio Mané (Liverpool, now Bayern & Senegal) – 51 points
7 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt) – 46 points
8 Kylian Mbappé (Paris & France) – 25 points
9 Vinícius Junior (Real Madrid & Brazil) – 21 points
10 Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool & Netherlands) – 19 points
Other 2021/22 award winners
i). Women’s Coach of the Year: Sarina Wiegman
ii). President’s Award: Arrigo Sacchi