Karim Benzema is back in top form at the crucial phase of the season. With this, the striker secures himself and Real Madrid repeatedly the chance of the championship.
Last Saturday, Real striker Karim Benzema took heart in the game against FC Elche shortly after the end of regular time on the edge of the box, played a one-two with teammate Rodrygo and heaved the ball into the far corner from 16 meters with the right post.
His goal marked the 2-1 victory for Real Madrid and secured important points in the fight to defend the title. Elche took the lead in the middle of the second half before Real’s top French striker tied a brace (73./90.+1) and saved Los Blancos by far from losing points for the first time.
Benzema, who has been in real dress since 2009, is back in top form at the crucial phase of the season and is once again keeping Real’s chance for the championship with late hits. Because he scored two thirds of his 15 La Liga goals this season in the last 20 minutes of the game – four of them even in stoppage time.
Real are currently six points behind leaders Atletico in third place, archenemy Barca are only three points behind in second place. This season alone, Real would have six points less on the account without Benzema’s goals. Even in a direct comparison with their city rivals (1: 1) last week, Los Blancos could rely on Benzema’s accuracy.
Real Madrid: Benzema “a joy for football”
One thing is clear: Without his striker’s last-minute goals, Real shouldn’t even dream of the championship. Not without reason, his coach Zinedine Zidane recently described him as “a joy for football” and added: “He is a special player for all football fans, not just for Madrid.”
Zidane is well aware that Benzema has been the only offensive since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure in 2018 to have consistently strong performances. Eden Hazard, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior lagged behind in the past two years, which only increased the pressure on Benzema.
But the French seem to know how to deal with it. His absolute will to win a game and his calm on the pitch show the self-confidence with which he appears. Benzema radiated a danger in the past few months, which helped Real’s attacks to achieve important successes, especially in the closing minutes.
Borussia Mönchengladbach, for example, had a similar experience to Elche on Saturday in the Champions League group stage, when the Madrilenians scored two goals in the last six minutes at the end of October – Benzema then scored the 2-1.
The relationship with Zidane seems to have played a crucial role in Benzema’s run. In an interview with El Pais Benzema said of his compatriot: “He’s like an older brother to me. He’s always there off the field to give me advice.” Zidane played in Madrid from 2001 to the end of his career in 2006, during which time he became a world footballer, he has been coaching Real Madrid since 2016 and has been a three-time Champions League winner.