Soccer-Real Madrid's Benzema named Champions League Player of the Season


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022 Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates after winning the Champions League REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

(Reuters) - Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has been named the Champions League Player of the Season after a stellar 2021-22 campaign where he finished as top scorer, UEFA said on Tuesday.

France international 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 St Germain and Chelsea in the knockout stages.

Benzema's team mate 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 lineup.

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 St Germain), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)

(This story changes first paragraph to read "2021-22 campaign", not "2020-21")

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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