Madrid, May 31 (EFE).- Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been named the 2021/22 Uefa Champions League player of the season, the European football body said Tuesday.
The award from Uefa’s technical observer panel recognized the Frenchman’s crucial role in securing Real Madrid’s 14th European title at the weekend.
It was Benzema’s fifth Champions League trophy since he joined the Spanish powerhouse from Lyon in 2009.
“Not only did Benzema hit double figures for Champions League goals in a single season for the first time in his career, his final tally of 15 earned him top spot in the competition scoring charts,” Uefa said in a statement.
The 34-year-old scored 10 goals in the knockout stages of this year’s competition, including back-to-back hat tricks in the round-of-16 against Paris Saint-Germain and in the quarterfinals against Chelsea.
He went on to score a brace in the first-leg leg of the semifinals at Manchester City then an extra time penalty in the home leg to secure Real Madrid’s place in the final against Liverpool.
With 86 goals under his belt, Benzema is the third-highest goalscorer in Champions League history alongside Robert Lewandowski. The pair are behind Lionel Messi, who has 125 goals to his name, and Cristiano Ronaldo with an eye-watering 140.
The Uefa panel also picked the best XI for the season, which included fellow Real Madrid stars Thibaut Courtois, the final’s man of the match, Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior, who scored the winner on Saturday night.
Also included in the dream team were Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Fabinho; Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger; Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and PSG’s Kylian Mbappe. EFE