‘It’s a joke’ – Neymar questions 2022 Ballon d’Or final rankings
Neymar has questioned the 2022 Ballon d’Or rankings following Monday night’s ceremony.
Real Madrid and France forward Karim Benzema won the award for the first time in his career. Bayern Munich and Senegal winger Sadio Mane came second, while Manchester City and Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne finished third.
It felt like a deserved win for Benzema, who inspired Real Madrid to glory in both La Liga and the Champions League last season.
What did Karim Benzema say after winning the Ballon d’Or?
After becoming the oldest Ballon d’Or winner since Stanley Matthews in 1956, the 34-year-old was quoted by Sky Sports as saying: “It makes me really proud. All the work I did, I never gave up. It was a childhood dream like all kids [have]. I had two motivations in my life – [Zinedine] Zidane and Ronaldo. I’ve always had this dream in my mind that anything is possible.
“There was a difficult period where I wasn’t in the French team, but I never stopped working hard nor gave up. I always kept my head, concentrated on playing football and I’m really proud of my journey here. It wasn’t easy, it was a difficult time. It was hard for my family as well. To be here today, for the first time for me, I’m happy and pleased with my work and I keep going.
“I want to thank my team-mates, whether it’s Real Madrid or the national team. My coach, thanks to him as well. The Real Madrid president as well.”
Neymar disagrees with 2022 Ballon d’Or rankings
Neymar wasn’t one of the 30 players shortlisted for the 2022 Ballon d’Or. Neither was his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Lionel Messi, who has won the award a record seven times.
In a tweet that’s gone viral, Neymar congratulated Benzema, believing the right man won the main award.
However, the Brazilian can’t understand how his compatriot Vinicius Jr finished down in eight place behind Thibaut Courtois, Kylian Mbappe, Mohamed Salah and Robert Lewandowski.