Karim Benzema snatches the France Football Player of the Year award from Kylian Mbappé
Karim Benzema lands France Football Player of the Year award for Les Bleus team-mate Kylian Mbappé… even though the PSG striker has scored more goals in 2021 than the Real Madrid star
- Karim Benzema has been named player of the year 2021 by France Football
- PSG striker Kylian Mbappe had won the previous two editions of the award
- Mbappe finished with more goals in 2021 than Benzema but still lost
- Benzema scored 47 goals, most shined at Euro 2020 and Nations League
- Mbappe has become just the 20th player to score 50+ goals in a calendar year
Karim Benzema ended Kylian Mbappe’s mini-dominance by winning France Football’s Player of the Year award after the Real Madrid striker was handed the award for 2021.
The 34-year-old enjoyed a spectacular year for club and country which saw him score 38 goals for Los Blancos from January to December, before being called up to the France squad where he shone in the Euro 2020 and won the Nations League.
But even though Mbappe became just the 20th player to score 50 or more goals in a calendar year since the turn of the century this year, it was Benzema who claimed one of the highest individual honors in France .
Karim Benzema (above) has been named France Football’s Player of the Year ahead of Kylian Mbappe
Benzema (left) won the award over Mbappe (right) despite the latter scoring more goals in 2021
Mbappe took the time to congratulate Benzema on the award despite the PSG star’s loss to him
Mbappe also won the previous two editions of the award in 2018 and 2019, but Benzema won his first version of the award in seven years, meaning he has now won the award four times.
PSG striker Mbappe, who was heavily linked with the team with Benzema at Real in 2022, took the time to praise his compatriot on Instagram for propelling him to the award.
Other winners in recent years include Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, striker Antoine Griezmann and former PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi.
Only one player has now won the award more times than Benzema, as Thierry Henry won the award five times between 2000 and 2006 when he was at Arsenal.
Benzema has scored 38 goals for Real Madrid in 2021, five less than Mbappe’s PSG tally
Benzema finished the 2020-21 season with 30 goals in all competitions for Real, but the Spanish giants ended the season trophyless as city rivals Atletico won the LaLiga title.
The striker went on to score four times at Euro 2020 for Les Bleus, who crashed out in the Round of 16 against Switzerland on penalties, despite Benzema scoring twice in regular time.
France had better luck in the Nations League final later that year as Benzema scored in the semi-final and final wins over Belgium and Spain respectively to claim another trophy for Didier Deschamps’ team.
Mbappe, meanwhile, scored 43 goals for PSG in 2021 as they won the Coupe de France this season, plus another eight for France – one less than Benzema at international level.