Karim Benzema sinks into legends

Karim Benzema, who has been in Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow for almost a decade, exploded at Real Madrid when we least expected him, at the twilight of his career.

What the 34-year-old Franco-Algerian is doing is simply extraordinary, especially this season, which is by far the best of his career.

| Also read: Zidane – Benzema: a relationship that goes beyond football

41 goals in as many games in all competitions is a stat worthy of the biggest names in football history. Like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over the past decade, Benzema is also starting to rack up records.

Many observers agree that, statistically, if it weren’t for the circumstances that have accompanied his career, he might not be far behind the Portuguese and Argentines.

And it’s no exaggeration knowing that Benzema, who was crowned Spanish champion with Real Madrid this Saturday, played in the shadow of superstar Ronaldo for almost ten years, taking almost no penalties and being out of the French team for six years for unsportsmanlike conduct was excluded considerations.

Without attracting much attention, he became the top French goalscorer in history, ahead of Thierry Henry, and is on the verge of ousting Raul González in Real Madrid’s top scorer rankings.

With 320 goals scored in the white jersey, Karim Benzema will undoubtedly overtake Raul (323 goals) in a few days. He then finishes second behind the untouchable Cristiano Ronaldo and his record 450 goals.

With or without Champions League…

The former Lyon player is also on course to become one of the record-breaking players in White House history. He reached 600 appearances for the club when he faced Manchester City in the Champions League semifinals last Tuesday. And again it’s only a matter of days and he will overtake legendary players like Hierro and Paco Gentil (601 games each).

He also has his sights set on a record in the near future that will make him a little more immersed in the legend, that of top scorer in an edition of the Champions League, held by Cristiano Ronaldo with 17 goals.

Karim Benzema has scored 14 goals in the competition this season. He may have two games left (a semi-final return leg and possibly a final) to score four goals and dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo.

It will be extremely difficult but not impossible for someone who has been racking up hat-tricks in European competition for a few weeks.

A hat-trick against PSG in the eighth round, another against Chelsea in the quarter-finals, a brace for City in the semi-final first leg on Tuesday 26 April until the return.

No player has racked up so many of the world’s most expensive defenses in such a short amount of time. Karim Benzema marks and wins his team in prestigious competitions and that makes him a potential Ballon d’Or contender.

Last season he was at the foot of the podium and this season should be his. Other players cherish and deserve the title, like Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, also still in the running for the Champions League.

The trophy weighs heavily in the World’s Best Player title, but with all that the Franco-Algerian has accomplished in recent months, the Ballon d’Or should not go unnoticed.

“With or without the Champions League,” he should be crowned, believes Thierry Henry, for example, about the man to whom he ceded the title of top French goalscorer in history last March.

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