🧩 Karim Benzema: An essential piece of a winning puzzle

🧩 Karim Benzema: An essential piece of a winning puzzle

Karim Benzema signed for Real Madrid exactly eleven years ago today and now he serves as an emblem of a winning dynasty.

The French stalwart striker is part of the furniture at the Bernabéu, becoming a permanent fixture and institution in arguably the club's most Golden of eras. Fortuitously for Los Blancos, Benzema fell out with the French Football Federation and hasn't made an appearance for his country at a major competition since the 2014 World Cup. And ever since then, Benzema's importance at club level has truly made itself apparent. 

While Cristiano Ronaldo was setting ridiculous standards and working his way into the Real Madrid record books, Benzema was there, playing an unselfish supporting role and helping the team tick along. In the process, he continued to notch goals & asissts at an elite rate, on a consistent basis. Benzema arrived in Madrid during the same summer as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká to considerably less fanfare, but the €35m paid to Lyon for his services have been worth every penny. 

The Benzema, Bale, Cristiano trio (endearingly known as the BBC) enjoyed rich success in the Champions League between 2014 and 2018, with Real Madrid winning the competition four times inside five years. Benzema was in the starting XI for all four of those successes. 

Benzema's four winner's medals are undoubtedly more important to him than individual stats and accolades in the tournament, but the 32-year-old is up there with the best scorers in Champions League history. And it's a tournament that Real Madrid made its own for almost half a decade. Benzema's versatility, tactical intelligence and technical gifts have been a huge contributor to Real's immense success as he forged fruitful partnerships with Cristiano, Bale and other attacking players. His unselfishness and work ethic are truly a teammate's and manager's dream. 

🎯 Top goalscorers in the UEFA Champions League

  • 🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo: 128
  • 🇦🇷 Lionel Messi: 114
  • 🇪🇸 Raúl: 72
  • 🇫🇷 Karim Benzema: 64
  • 🇵🇱 Robert Lewandowski: 64

⚪️ Benzema's Real Madrid love affair

  • 🏆 17 trophies 
  • 🏟 508 appearances (ninth all-time)
  • ⚽️ 244 goals (fourth all-time behind Cristiano, Raúl & Alfredo Di Stéfano)
  • 🥽 134 assists (all-time leader in the club's history)

In 2019-20, it's been business as usual for the unbelievably consistent Frenchman, who has scored 17 goals & claimed seven assists in 33 league appearances to date. If Zidane's team can hold their nerve in the LaLiga title race, Karim Benzema will add a third LaLiga crown to his staggering list of achievements in the Spanish capital.

That will just further cement his status as a Real Madrid icon.

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