Taking advantage of the artistry Karim Benzema showed at the RCDE Stadium when he backheeled for Casemiro to score when it looked like nothing was on, it’s a good time to remember that this is the same Benzema that has scored 22 goals this season and the same exquisite players that some analysts have said has only been at Real Madrid for 10 years because the club did not sign world-class strikers to provide competition, as if he was the president’s project.
And remembering things like that have to make you laugh, of course, as Cristiano Ronaldo laughed when he heard those criticisms during his nine years alongside Benzema. He knew better than anyone what it meant to have such a subordinate talent at his side.
Today, Benzema doesn’t play subordinate to anyone for the simple reason that he has no one who can match his level in the Real Madrid squad.
Not even Eden Hazard with the potential he has, who has to have a lot more demanded of him, rather than us waxing lyrical over the few moments of interplay he has with the Frenchman. And surely because he plays more for Benzema, which is why the No.9 is the top scorer in the team by far and the real leader; silent, discreet and always aware of what the team needs.
Benzema goes down the middle to receive the ball and to shoot at goal, then drags an opponent to release a teammate, then generates a chance with an unimaginable pass like he did on Sunday, or at the end he scores a decisive goal. Complete and decisive, Benzema does everything and does everything well.
While some are still embroiled in endless discussions about whether he’s more of a talented No.9 or a goal-hungry No.10, Benzema enjoys himself and makes us enjoy those who always appreciate him and his dazzling repertoire as very few strikers in world football have shone in the last decade.
As Benzema himself has once acknowledged, “I play for people who know about football”. And he plays to win this LaLiga Santander title, which if it ends up at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu will bear his name in prominent letters.