The real Madrid has once again been the protagonist -as usual- of the ceremony of the Golden Ball. On the night of Paris this Monday, the sky was painted white to practically celebrate an extraordinary season for the Spanish club, which has allowed it to monopolize the main prizes of this exclusive event. It is not for less.
Until 2021, the Ballon d’Or took into account the calendar year for the delivery of the different awards at the ceremony. However, the current edition underwent a drastic change: now the prestigious award is a reflection of the best of the season. And, well, 2021/22 was almost perfect for the Madridistas.
Under the command of Carlo Ancelotti, the merengue club returned to the throne in Europe at full throttle. In addition to winning LaLiga and the Spanish Super Cup locally, the madridistas celebrated their 14th Champions League title, after epically beating PSG (eighth), Chelsea (fourth), Manchester City (semi-finals) and Liverpool (final).
With this feat, Real Madrid once again confirmed its enormous dominance in the biggest competition at club level. His hierarchy is indisputable. And absolutely no other team can boast the same successes. However, Manchester City was chosen the best club of the year unexpectedly, which has generated quite a bit of controversy.
But beyond the titles that were obtained together, of course, what predominates most in this ceremony is the individual performance of the protagonists on the field. And, in that aspect, the white team also swept the field, having four players from their squad (Modric, Vinicius, Courtois and Benzema) in the final Top 10 of the highest award.
The best goalkeeper in the world
Few thought that Thibaut Courtois was going to reign in his position over other great competitors, but he did. The Belgian goalkeeper was crucial for Real Madrid to lift the Champions League last season, saving the team countless times.
In the European competition, the ‘1’ madridista led the statistics of the last edition with a total of 59 saves throughout the tournament, according to data from SofaScore. His presence under the three posts was always noticeable, especially in achieving heroic comebacks against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City.
In addition, in all the games he played in the 2021/22 campaign – 52 in total – he left his goal unbeaten 22 times. With all this, Thibaut Courtois was chosen the best goalkeeper in the world, becoming the undisputed creditor of the Yashin Trophy at the ceremony.
The Ballon d’Or in Madrid
Karim Benzema was Real Madrid’s greatest hero in a dream season. The ‘9’ merengue, as a benchmark for the team, knew how to guide the madridistas to glory more than once based on many goals and outstanding performances.
Individually he shone more than any other footballer on this planet. The 2021/22 season ended with a total of 44 goals and 15 assists in 46 gamesenjoying an impressive scoring average of 0.96.
But that’s not all, Karim was the Pichichi of last season in LaLiga (27 goals), he was the top scorer in the Champions League (15 goals) and he was chosen as the best player in this European competition.
These numbers supported him to be deservedly chosen the winner of the Ballon d’Or. And, with it, the ‘9’ became the eighth Real Madrid player to achieve it, following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo (4), Alfredo Di Stéfano (2) , Ronaldo Nazário (1), Raymond Kopa (1), Luis Figo (1), Fabio Cannavaro (1) and Luka Modric (1).
And so, Karim closed a new white night in Paris with a golden brooch. Totally deserved.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.