The French star recently lifted the Ballon d’Or 2022 award
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema won his first Ballon d’Or on Monday after a memorable 2021-22 season, scoring 44 goals in 46 games and helping the team win the UEFA Champions League and La Liga.
The forward has also scored in his 17 consecutive seasons in the UEFA Champions League, the most together. He scored from the 2005-06 to 2021-22 season. This record is only equaled by Lionel Messi.
Benzema became the second French player to win the Ballon d’Or since Zidane in 1998 and fifth overall on Monday, and to celebrate that achievement, Adidas has turned Benzema’s right hand bandage into golden memorabilia. Adidas also announced new boots and a new special kit to celebrate Benzema’s Ballon d’Or triumph.
But what is the story behind that bandage on the right hand? Many fans believe it is due to superstitions, but it is actually related to an incident that happened in 2019, when the player was playing against Real Betis and fractured his little finger while trying to break his fall when he came into contact with Marc Batra.
The player was told he would need surgery, which would keep him out for two months. But the French international preferred to postpone the operation until the end of the season. Benzema underwent successful surgery, but the Real Madrid forward tried to hasten his recovery and injured his little finger again, forcing him to wrap a bandage around his right hand permanently.
When asked why he wasn’t operated on after a UEFA Champions League group stage game, the player was delighted. “I had an operation, but when you have the surgery, you have to be out for two months. I hurt [the finger] again, but I don’t have time to stop and have another operation, so I wear the bandage when I’m playing.”