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A great craftsman in qualifying against PSG and Chelsea, Karim Benzema will once again be Real Madrid’s trump card in their semi-final on Tuesday against Manchester City. In the event of reaching the final, the Frenchman would pose as a serious contender for the Ballon d’Or 2022.
Simply essential. That’s Karim Benzema’s status at Real Madrid this season. The captain of the Merengues is the architect of the excellent season of the Spaniards. Tuesday, April 26, against Manchester City, he should still be the trump card of his coach Carlo Ancelotti to try to clinch a place in the final.
Week after week, Benzema carries his club and Real’s European career owes him a lot. However, in calculated humility, he likes to say that he is above all at the service of the team.
“It’s not a matter of dependency, no. Real have already won without me, and Real will continue to win all the time,” he recently protested in L’Équipe.
It weighs on matches
But the numbers and the scenario of the matches tell another story.
His hat-trick against PSG overturned a badly started match, his realism at Stamford Bridge had given a lead (3-1) which proved very valuable on the return to Bernabeau (2-3), where it is still him who scored the decisive goal to crucify Chelsea in extra time.
Naturally, and he is the first to admit it, he is not alone in the field. His agreement with Vinicius Junior and the velvet paws of Luka Modric are a blessing for the outstanding finisher that he is. But his role goes far beyond the penalty area and even the field.
“He represents the finalization of the team’s actions, but also the ability to read the different situations of the match, to help with possession… To call him a striker is reductive. He is very complete”, underlined at the start of the season Carlo Ancelotti.
Benzema never hesitates to come back down to the field, to participate in the construction, to harangue his teammates too, developing leadership qualities, also underlined by the Italian coach.
The Frenchman, author of 12 goals this season in C1 including 7 of his team’s 8 goals in the final phase, is in an ideal position to finish top scorer in the competition since he is also safe from Haller (11), released in the round of 16 with Ajax. Only Mohamed Salah, fourth in the standings with eight goals and still in contention with Liverpool against Villarreal on Wednesday, can still claim to compete with him.
The Real Madrid striker could also overtake Lewandowski in the historical ranking of the top scorers in the Champions League (since 1992-1993). The Pole has scored 86 times in the competition, Benzema 83.
Karim Benzema tops another ranking as well. He is quite simply the striker who shoots the most on goal: 4.2 shots every 90 minutes.
Candidate for the new Ballon d’Or formula
Impressive statistics that make him a natural candidate for the next Ballon d’Or. Especially since the reform initiated by France Football, the promoter of the reward, could benefit it. Indeed, the votes will close on July 31st so that the awarding of the highest individual reward is now aligned with the calendar of sports seasons and not of calendar years.
“It’s a goal. Especially since last year I was not far away, but I hadn’t won a trophy (in a club). There, I’m having a very good season, supports the French international. Ballon d’Or is a motivation, but not only personal. I include the team. Because if I manage to take my team to win trophies, necessarily behind, there will be individual rewards, “he said. explained in an interview with the Team
As for trophies, Real Madrid are already almost guaranteed to win La Liga. He is only one point short of winning the 35e Spanish championship in its history, which could be done on Saturday April 30 after the home game against Espanyol Barcelona.
And since a national championship is not enough, Karim’s band dreams of lifting the “Big Ears Cup” to support its candidacy for the Ballon d’Or. On the road to the final, remains to get rid of Manchester City. And potentially from Liverpool and their two Ballon d’Or contenders, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, in the final.