Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema has been shortlisted for The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award for 2022.
Benzema finally won his first Ballon d’Or gong at the end of 2022, after an incredible season in 2021/22, leading Los Blancos to a La Liga and Champions League double, with an outrageous 44 goals in 46 matches.
However, he is now in the running for the newly formatted FIFA award, which replaced the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2019, and runs alongside the Ballon d’Or, following its separation from it in 2016.
FIFA's #TheBest Men's Player of the Year will be _________ 🏆 pic.twitter.com/wCy3sfHHUR
— GOAL (@goal) February 10, 2023
Benzema is on the three player shortlist for the first time, alongside his old Barcelona rival Lionel Messi, and Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe.
Despite being the strong favourite to win the Ballon d’Or, Messi is tipped to beat Benzema in this race, on the back of inspiring Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar.
2016 to 2019 saw four consecutive double wins, for the Ballon d’Or and The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award, with a list including Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi and Luka Modric.
However, Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski is the current holder, after winning in 2020 and 2021, with the subsequent Ballon d’Or’s won by Messi and Benzema.