Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been named the Champions League player of the season after an outstanding 2021-22 campaign where he finished as top scorer, Uefa have announced.
France star Benzema, 34, won the competition for the fifth time as Real beat Liverpool 1-0 in the final, having netted 15 goals in 12 games including hat-tricks against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea in the knockout stages.
His season has been so commanding that Lionel Messi believes there is “no doubt” Benzema deserves to win his first Ballon d’Or, to go alongside his Uefa accolade.
Benzema's teammate Vinicius Junior, who scored the only goal in the final in Paris, was named the tournament's young player of the season.
The duo were also named in the team of the season alongside Real midfielder Luka Modric and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who played a starring role in the showdown at Stade de France.
Runners-up Liverpool were represented by defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson, as well as midfielder Fabinho.
PSG striker Kylian Mbappe, Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger and Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne completed the line-up.
Team of the season
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Andy Robertson (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Fabinho (Liverpool), Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Forwards: Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)