Per UEFA’s press release:
UEFA’s Technical Observer panel have named Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema as the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League Player of the Season.
The French striker was a talismanic figure for Madrid as he drove them on to a record 14th European title, and his fifth since he joined 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.
Remarkably, a joint-record ten of those goals came in the knockout stage, beginning with a decisive late hat-trick against Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16.
He followed up with another treble away to Chelsea and then buried the extra-time winner to oust the holders in Spain, before a trio of goals against Manchester City in the semi-finals – including the extra-time penalty that capped a jaw-dropping comeback.
This is undoubtedly the first of many individual awards coming Benzema’s way during the rest of 2022. Next will be the Pichichi, given to the 2021-2022 top scorer in La Liga. The most important of them all should be the Ballon D’Or, as Benzema is the main favorite to win the award also.