Karim Benzema becomes a football legend
Now a well-known genre will become popular: how can everyone who scolded him before praise Karim? Very simple. In football, the same goalkeeper Mendy can make crazy saves and make hurtful mistakes. All of them are people. We remember Benzema’s mistakes, the nature of those mistakes was sorted out by experts long ago. The unwillingness to see the bad is characteristic only of people who have fallen under the influence of others and are in something like a cult.
Everyone else decides what is bad and what is good. Benzema was a cool short-haired young player from Lyon, you can’t take that away. “Weavers” understand the attackers. Since he grew up in a poor area, he has been associated with criminal elements since childhood, petty bandits are his friends. Karim has a big craving for everything shiny and expensive, like hip-hop artists. I’ve done stupid things in relationships. He has a stain on his reputation in the form of a connection with a juvenile prostitute.
It’s too late to mold a saint out of it. But all these facts, as well as participation in the blackmail of Valbuena, are necessary to understand why the “enfant terrible” did not immediately jump from the phase of a talented prince to the throne of the king of attack in Real Madrid. Benzema was too cocky from his youth. Every newcomer to Lyon’s first team makes a speech. The young player addressed the veterans with the words: “I have come to take your place.” Then he was seventeen years old, and already in 2007, Benzema scored 31 goals in 52 games for the Weavers.
A year later, Sir Alex Ferguson started a conversation with Karim in a room under the stands, urging him to move to Manchester United (the Scot clearly drew parallels with the purchase of another iconic Frenchman, Cantona). Lyon officials had to drag Benzema away from the coach by force because Ola expected to make a deal with Peres. But few people imagined that Real Madrid received not just another striker, but a guardsman of the club.
Benzema was pressured by Robin’s status under Batman
You most likely know the name of Batman – Bruce Wayne. What is Robin’s name? The search engines suggest that the character is called Richard Grayson, for the first time I hear this name. Robin will never get out of the shadow of the main superhero. This is how it was for Benzema when, together with Ronaldo and Kaka, he arrived in Madrid in the same off-season. Peres expected to get a full-fledged attack, but the Brazilian aristocrat broke down quickly – Kaka did not play in the shadow of Ronaldo.
But Karim stepped on the throat of selfishness on the field and helped Cristiano shine for many years. Those 35 million euros, as well as the salary, the Frenchman worked many times. Real Madrid lost a lot of big matches, but then they started to win. Benzema has often been one of the guides to the world of big trophies. It’s not even that it was Karim who took advantage of Karius’ concussion in the final against Liverpool. And not in being a tactical bargaining chip in Champions League finals before.
The point is that Benzema did not give up in difficult circumstances. He was considered the new Nicolas Anelka – a talented Frenchman who considers himself a big star, but scores less than the coaches would like. Mourinho humiliated Karim publicly when, after an injury, Ronaldo said that since he no longer had a dog, he had to take a cat to hunt. But remember where you started. Benzema was not always a professional, his audacity was not combined with diligence and accuracy.
Simply put, Karim looked terrible in segments. It is now that Karim has a ratio of goals to accurate shots of 0.44, excluding penalties, he scores 0.76 goals on average over the past year, and also creates moments in batches. But there were seasons when the number of goals for well-aimed attempts fell by half, although there every hundredth counted. However, there is no evil without good. Over time, the striker settled into the role of Robin, because 47 of Ronaldo’s 451 goals at Real Madrid came from assists from Benzema.
Benefited from the departure of Ronaldo, but now we need trophies
Deschamps brought Benzema back to the French national team, although at Euro 2020 the striker’s tough performance did not help him reach the final. Real Madrid has knocked out a year ago on their way to the Champions League final. In El Clasico, Barcelona showed what Real Madrid looks like without Benzema – they won away with a score of 0:4. But understanding the value of Karim or his hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea does not equal trophies. We know the stories of fabulous individual seasons that did not have a clear point in the form of a big trophy.
Benzema will obviously be preparing for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to recoup all the humiliation and rejection from the French. But the inconsistency of this part of his career does not prevent him from declaring unequivocally that now the captain of Real Madrid is the leader of a large, solid team. A hat-trick against Mendy is an event, as is a new record for the French in European competition in one season. Karim surpassed the achievement of the great Just Fontaine.
But it is a small episode that makes it stand out. In one of Real Madrid’s counter-attacks in rainy London, Benzema kicked a heel pass at high speed. He made it so art and nature that only the Madrid spirit of misses, which moved from Karim to Vinicius, prevented the ball from being sent to the Chelsea goal. The Brazilian hesitated, while the Frenchman later hit without misses with his head and staged another act of pressing the goalkeeper, followed by a mistake. From Carius and Ulreich to Donnarumma and Mendy, who just didn’t suffer from Benzema’s instincts.
And the defenders are surprised by his performance. Ronaldo is a punch eater, so Benzema had less of a chance next to him. Not to mention the possibility of converting a penalty, as it is now. Increased performance – now Karim has 37 goals per season, his personal record at Real Madrid is not surprising at all. But the way Benzema works off the ball and how much he influences the structure of Real Madrid’s game is amazing again. If earlier he was one of the radiant orchestra, now he is a conductor.
Karim has been a world-class striker since his youth, but now he is becoming a great one. Manage to break a couple of records. Playing for Real Madrid for thirteen years, boldly claims to be included in the pantheon of club legends. Benzema turned out to be a rather difficult transformation from a talented hooligan to a matured professional, for which he can be congratulated. A prudent, technical and intelligent striker who, unlike some, also sees teammates.
Benzema feels football and it’s always a pleasure to watch such players. Yesterday Neuer started to play, and Moreno failed to get into the gates of Bayern from his half. But Karim waited for someone else’s mistake and scored his third goal in London. Let the away goals no longer give an advantage, as before, but Real got a clear head start on the eve of a difficult second leg.