The Second Coming of Benzema at Real Madrid

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At one time, Madrid fans wondered whether Karim Benzema could maintain his prolific goal-scoring form; unfortunately, his injury-marred season in 2022-23 shows otherwise.

But the Frenchman remains key to Real Madrid’s attack; he acts like a true number 10.

1. Goals

In 2021, when Benzema returned, he was leaner, fitter and more focused than before. Furthermore, he had successfully taken on his role as Madrid’s leader despite experiencing initial difficulty doing so.

He enjoyed an impressive season that saw Real Madrid win both La Liga and Champions League championships, thanks to a lethal partnership with Vinicius Junior. It marked an exceptional career which also included three trebles, four Ballons d’Or awards, and five Champions League winners’ medals.

His return this season may have been more muted, yet he still scored 44 goals in La Liga and stands a good chance of adding to them before the season closes out. While his style has altered slightly from last year, he remains an effective finisher who leads both leagues for completed big chances and successful through-balls – while still bearing witness to Jose Mourinho’s cat insults at Santiago Bernabeu.

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2. Assists

Karim Benzema joined Real Madrid alongside Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain in 2009, though his first season wasn’t kind when it came to goalscoring; nevertheless he made up for this with an impressive number of assists. Although classified as a striker by some standards Benzema is actually best described as a playmaker who can drop deep to assist team-mates.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema may not be known for creating opportunities himself, but his strength lies in linking play and creating crosses. Benzema’s ability to avoid aerial duels allows him to attack crosses more freely under reduced pressure; his tendency to withdraw into central territory (below) or drift wide towards the left (above), combining with Luka Modric and Casemiro runs, is essential to their attacking flow – now more fluid than ever! Remarkably for such an impressive scoring record it’s remarkable that such an accomplished scorer could adapt so late career; remarkable adaptation!

3. Crosses

With Benzema on board, Madrid have become more direct this season. While last season Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz often relied upon crosses from flanks in hope they’d find one with which to find an opening, now they often try going directly towards him.

But that has not hampered their attack; although Benzema’s strike rate may have decreased, his goals remain at impressive levels and he continues to contribute significantly towards their team effort.

Real Madrid’s front three were impressive in the opening stages of a relatively quiet match against Sheriff. Rodrygo and Vinicius drew Chelsea defence into their press before Carvajal’s excellent lofted pass enabled Benzema to beat Kepa with ease – an old sight but excellently done – this Benzema that we all know and adore is back to show his true mettle at Tiraspol with flair, efficiency and class.

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4. Movements

Benzema may not have the agility or power of his peers in attacking, but he nonetheless displays remarkable adeptness at positioning himself for receiving passes with reduced pressure from teammates. Be it his stronger right or weaker left foot, Benzema masterfully adjusts himself so as to be in optimal positions to receive crosses into his target zone.

Uses his strength and sense of timing to meet crosses from wide areas when under less duress – often on the back foot when doing so! Joined Madrid from Lyon in 2009, winning 25 trophies over 14 trophy-laden seasons since joining. Eventually will become a free agent after this close season ends.

Real Madrid are left reeling following the loss of Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior as two young options in attack; both lack bite. Real will need to use this summer restock their squad with goal scorers in order to remain competitive in attack.

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