For far too long, Karim Benzema was left behind, stuck in the goat-shaped shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo. And even when the main man left, Eden Hazard came in. Again, the limelight was meant to be taken away from the Frenchman.
Except, it wasn’t. The mantle of responsibility was not passed onto the injury-cursed Eden Hazard. The throne was left unoccupied. Somebody had to step up and earn it. And Karim Benzema has done exactly that.
He has stepped out of the shadows. He noticed that the role of the main protagonist was open and his application was happily accepted.
The spotlight remains firmly fixed on the Frenchman, with each goal scored a reminder of his class. And if the eye test doesn’t work then stats certainly back the corner of the forward.
Benzema: Finally Getting the Recognition He Deserves
Filling the Ronaldo Void
Replacing Cristiano Ronaldo is an impossible task and one Madrid have, in truth, failed to do. You simply cannot replicate or replace that quality unless you sign fellow goat Lionel Messi.
So, instead, Zinedine Zidane adapted Real Madrid. He has transformed them from a side that can gladly rely on individual excellence into a collective force led by a team player in Karim Benzema.
The Frenchman has been involved in a total of 35 goals in all competitions this season. That is more than Mohamed Salah and only one less than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Yet, it is the likes of Messi, Ronaldo and Lewandowski that you’ll hear the most about. Now it’s time to hand Karim Benzema, the fourth highest all-time Champions League goalscorer with 71 goals, some deserved praise.
For context, that 71 goal mark means he has the same amount of Champions League goals as the legendary Raul. If Raul was remembered as an icon, Karim Benzema has done more than enough to cement his legacy in Spain.
A fun fact to coincide with the aforementioned stats is that, since Ronaldo’s Real Madrid departure, Benzema has netted 15 goals, one more than his former teammate Ronaldo.
Pundits and fans alike often handed Ronaldo the credit for Benzema’s excellence. Yet, since the parting of ways, it is the Frenchman who has shined brightest in a Madrid side that often fails to produce a handful of goals. But, best believe, when a goal is needed, Benzema is the one who steps up to score it.
Karim Benzema Keeping Real Madrid Hopes Alive
Against Chelsea, Real Madrid were undoubtedly second best in every aspect. Chelsea simply suffocated the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric when off the ball. And, when on the ball, Tuchel’s men bypassed Madrid’s press with relative ease in quick and clinical fashion.
Amidst a collective performance to forget, however, one man could hold his head high in the famous white of Los Blancos. And that is Karim Benzema.
He scratched a clawed his side back into the game to draw level with an undeserved and unforeseen equaliser. Not many chances fell his way but, when one did, like all world-class strikers, he took it emphatically.
Take the Frenchman out of the side and Real Madrid are left without that crucial golden touch that could bring silverware once more.
If the Spaniards are to pick up a trophy this season, in contrasting fashion, it will be Benzema emerging from the shadows to take the much-deserved credit and limelight.
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