If FC Barcelona has recruited in abundance this summer, this start of La Liga 2022-2023 keeps its eyes on the great attraction of the championship: Karim Benzema. On a mission to win the Ballon d’Or this season, the Real Madrid centre-forward is not slowing down in this calendar year and proving that pushing back the pinnacle of his art in every game is the most sovereign show of force there is.
Carlo Ancelotti may have won four Champions Leagues, La Liga, Bundesliga, Premier League, Ligue 1 and Serie A, but the 63-year-old tactician still has an appetite. Proof of this is Real Madrid’s victory against Eintracht Frankfurt in the European Super Cup (2-0), allowing the Casa Blanca to join FC Barcelona and AC Milan in the number of trophies won in the competition (5). When debriefing the meeting, the Transalpin was logically asked about the new XXL performance of Karim Benzema, author of the second goal for his team. ” If we are here, it’s thanks to us but above all thanks to him, he scored a lot of goalsanalyzes Don Carlo. He is a very important player, a leader. He finished the season well and now he’s heading straight for the Ballon d’Or. Is there still a doubt? For me, no more…And for La Liga? Even less.
In order to make his name appear a little better in the golden pages of Real, Benzema scored his 324e goal in 606 games in jersey meringue . It’s one more goal than legend Raúl González Blanco (323 in 741 games), and it puts Madrid’s number 9 in second place in the club’s top scorer rankings, behind the untouchable Cristiano Ronaldo (450 goals). On the eve of his fourteenth season at what many describe as the biggest club in the world, Benzema is not content to have a big brother role for the new generation. He is a captain, a reinforced concrete slab on which his teammates lean, a complete and essential footballer. Without his presence on the lawn, Real is able to sink like in the last Classico at the Santiago-Bernabéu, where Barça de Xavi had dictated its law (0-4).
For La Benz, the balance sheet of the last season in La Liga speaks for itself. Thirty-two games, twenty-seven goals including six doubled and a hat-trick, twelve assists. That of C1 is just as flamboyant, with a status of top scorer in the competition and fifteen achievements on the clock. For the most assiduous of the Spanish championship, the analysis is clear: Karim Benzema at Real Madrid has become just as vital to his team as Leo Messi was during his great years at FC Barcelona. It is no coincidence that last season, Benzema won the trophy Pichichi (rewarding the top scorer in La Liga) for the first time in his career at… 34 years old! Since the 2009-2010 season, only Luis Suárez had managed to win the distinction in the middle of the distance duel between CR7 and Messi. Now that the two aliens have gone to other places, KB9 has made La Liga its exclusive property and the person concerned does not intend to give up a millimeter of his domination in 2022.
Lewandowski, new sheriff in town?
Of course, Barça does not hear it that way at all. In this, the recruitment of Robert Lewandowski must allow the Catalans to quickly respond to the recital offered by Benzema since Messi left the country. With this titanic Benzema-Lewandowski duel, the Classicois regaining its credentials and is preparing to once again become the world poster not to be missed in front of a Manchester City-Liverpool, which is taking more and more space in the media panorama. While Haaland and Núñez probably represent the football of tomorrow, they have yet to write their own history by winning major trophies. For his part, Benzema already weighs five Champions Leagues, four European Supercups, four Spanish championships and four French championships, not to mention a Ballon d’or 2022 which can no longer escape him, given his excellent service records. “In Spain, it is difficult to give the respect due to the legends of his clubexplained former goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares in an interview published on our site in 2016.If you win and leave, you will have a nice farewell, because people are happy and grateful. We have a culture of the moment. The past or the future, no one thinks about it. We live permanently in the present. What happened yesterday is quickly forgotten, what happens tomorrow will be tomorrow.Sunday in Almeria, Benzema will be ready to continue writing his glorious future… until the final of the World Cup in Qatar?
By Antoine Donnarieix