Karim Benzema is pretty much nailed on to win the 2022 Ballon d’Or.

Even Barcelona legend Lionel Messi is adamant that Real Madrid‘s main man should win the accolade for the very first time.

Benzema was exceptional throughout the entirety of 2021/22. In La Liga, the Frenchman scored 27 goals and assisted a further 12, helping Los Blancos regain Spanish football’s biggest prize.

In the Champions League, the former Lyon man was equally brilliant. He finished with 15 goals and two assists, with 10 of the goals coming in the knockout stage of the competition.

Benzema’s individual European campaign in 2021/22 will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest in history, especially as Real Madrid ended up lifting the trophy for a record-extending 14th time.

But how highly does it rank in terms of prolificacy since the competition was rebranded back in 1992/93?

Well, Givemesport used Transfermarkt to work out the answer and it turns out Benzema’s haul of 15 goals and two assists is only the eighth-best return by a player in one single edition of the Champions League.

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Check out who’s ahead of Benzema and the rest of the top 20 below…

The 20 most prolific Champions League campaigns by a player (goals+assists)

=17. Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus, 1997/98) | 10 goals & 4 assists | 14 goal contributions

=17. Raul Gonzalez (Real Madrid, 1999/00) | 10 goals & 4 assists | 14 goal contributions

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=17. Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan, 2002/03) | 10 goals & 4 assists | 14 goal contributions

=17. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 2014/15) | 10 goals & 4 assists | 14 goal contributions

16. Raul Gonzalez (Real Madrid, 2002/03) | 9 goals & 6 assists | 15 goal contributions

15. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, 2017/18) | 10 goals & 5 assists | 15 goal contributions

=13. Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United, 2002/03) | 12 goals & 3 assists | 15 goal contributions

=13. Lionel Messi (Barcelona, 2018/19) | 12 goals & 3 assists | 15 goal contributions

12. Dwight Yorke (Manchester United, 1998/99) | 8 goals & 8 assists | 16 goal contributions

11. Lionel Messi (Barcelona, 2014/15) | 10 goals & 6 assists | 16 goal contributions

10. Lionel Messi (Barcelona, 2010/11) | 12 goals & 4 assists | 16 goal contributions

9. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, 2021/22) | 13 goals & 3 assists | 16 goal contributions

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8. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, 2021/22) | 15 goals & 2 assists | 17 goal contributions

7. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool, 2017/18) | 10 goals & 8 assists | 18 goal contributions

6. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 2016/17) | 12 goals & 6 assists | 18 goal contributions

5. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 2017/18) | 15 goals & 3 assists | 18 goal contributions

4. Lionel Messi (Barcelona, 2011/12) | 14 goals & 5 assists | 19 goal contributions

3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 2015/16) | 16 goals & 4 assists | 20 goal contributions

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2. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, 2019/20) | 15 goals & 6 assists | 21 goal contributions

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 2013/14) | 17 goals & 5 assists | 22 goal contributions

So, not a single one of Messi’s Champions League campaigns features in the top three, which is a bit of a surprise.

What’s not a surprise is that Ronaldo dominates the top five with a trio of inclusions, although his incredible 2013/14 season only sits top of the pile by just one solitary goal contribution.

Lewandowski’s 2019/20 ran the Portuguese superstar’s historic effort mighty close and the Bayern striker actually played a game less in his season.

Nevertheless, Ronaldo is still top dog and it’s yet another reason why he’s often referred to as ‘Mr Champions League’.

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