By leading Real Madrid to victory in the Champions League on Saturday May 28 (0-1), Frenchman Karim Benzema has undoubtedly taken the last step towards the Ballon d’Or. He would then be the first tricolor since “Zizou” in 1998.
Benzema at Real in numbers
The French international’s record with the Merengues is dizzying. He won 22 titles including 5 Champions League (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022). Only Paco Gento did better (6).
Karim Benzema is the second top scorer in Real Madrid history, tied with legend Raul. The Frenchman has scored 323 goals in all competitions. Still far from Cristiano Ronaldo (450).
“KB9” is the best assist in the history of the club with 159 units.
With 605 matches in the merengue jersey, Benzema is the 6th player who has played the most for Real Madrid. Raul (741) holds the record.
There was a time when Karim Benzema was also very happy not to find himself stuck at the Stade de France. In March 2013, when he stretched too long a series without scoring with the Blues (1,222 minutes), the striker collected the whistles and divided.
On Saturday, “KB9” didn’t score, was disallowed a goal for offside and also failed to deliver his best score. But he left the Dionysian enclosure as a giant. Alone at the top of the football planet, on the way to a Ballon d’Or, of which this fifth personal coronation in the Champions League has very likely driven out the last doubts and the ultimate competitors.
“Obviously in a corner of my head”
By not being decisive, by being on the losing side, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, the two free electrons of Liverpool repelled by Thibaut Courtois, surely left him the field open. And nothing, today, seems to prevent Benzema from lifting this supreme individual award, on October 17 in Paris, which “he fully deserves”, endorsed Didier Deschamps, Sunday at Téléfoot.
In club, I can’t do better
“Obviously, it’s in a corner of my head. There, I’m going to go to the selection. In the club, I can’t do better”, smiled the ex-Lyonnais at the microphone of Canal +, the day before yesterday. Before joining the France team, this Monday evening at Clairefontaine for four matches, the Madrid captain will have had a few hours to rewatch the film of a season of apotheosis.
In selection, where his return ended up being sensational and crowned with a League of Nations. And especially in the club, where the feature film took on the air of Palme d’Or. Marked both by crazy numbers (46 matches, 44 goals, 15 assists in all club competitions) and a dazzling influence in the restrictive game of the Merengue, of which he was the lung, the heart and the armed arm. Like his hat-trick against Paris, his four goals against Chelsea and his three goals against Manchester City.
The class gesture towards Marcelo
At 34, Benzema, top scorer in the C1 (15 goals), knocked out the stars to better touch the stars on Saturday. The climax of a non-linear career within the White House, of which he is now the emblem, after having been rejected and then admired as the lieutenant of Crisitiano Ronaldo.
A stature that did not prevent him from leaving the honor of lifting the big-eared cup to Marcelo, who remained on the bench the day before yesterday and was on the start after 15 and a half seasons at the club. A brand, that of the greats. This club where he now walks alone.
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[VIDEO] Football: Karim Benzema on his way to the first French Ballon d’Or since Zinédine Zidane