Karim Benzema Stats: Legend Status Leaving Madrid

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Karim Benzema eyes Saudi Arabia, but leaves a healthy amount of stats and records for the adoring public to digest in Real Madrid and beyond - zicoball

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Karim Benzema Stats Ahead of Saudi Arabia Switch: Legend Status Leaving Madrid

From Jose Mourinho’s ‘Pussycat’ to the big dog in in the Spanish capital. Karim Benzema, having won it all in Madrid, has kicked his final ball in anger on European shores. It is a curtain that will elegantly fall on a glittering career at the top end of the pitch, at the very summit of domestic football.

Real Madrid’s number nine will be a tough act to follow. However, they said that when Cristiano Ronaldo traded Madrid for Turin, look how that turned out. Benzema stepped up and took it in his stride. From apprentice to master, from backing vocals to focal point, from the shadows to bright Galactico white.

Saudi Arabia for Benzema

Saudi Arabia beckons in what will be a lucratively crafted offer for Benzema and his services. The Frenchman has so efficiently followed Ronaldo’s footsteps once before, and he looks poised to do so again as the Saudis plot to make an imprint on the footballing landscape.

Nuno Espirito Santo-led Al Ittihad will be the former Real Madrid captain’s new home. The 35-year-old current Ballon d’Or holder makes the switch after 14 years in Spain. No matter his age, this is a coup for the Middle East’s next footballing project. Securing the signature of a player voted as the world’s best just last season is some way to follow Ronaldo’s move to the Middle East.

In what materialised into a fitting end, Karim Benzema scored with his final touch as a Real Madrid player. The converted penalty against Athletic Club on the final day was the striker’s 19th La Liga goal of the season. That spot-kick made him Real Madrid’s top scorer in the league for the fifth successive campaign. 

Nineteen league goals at 35. It’s not a bad return, is it? His best goal haul for Real Madrid came only last term (2021/22). Benzema plundered 44 strikes – ageing like a fine French wine.

His last game for Real Madrid also saw him draw level with Fernando Hierro as the club’s sixth most-capped player in Spain’s top-flight with 439 La Liga appearances (638 in total).  

One of Europe’s Best: Karim Benzema UCL Stats

During his long stint as a club servant, Benzema lifted 24 trophies and scored 353 goals for one of the world’s most prestigious clubs. Only Cristiano Ronaldo scored more in Madrid – his 450 will take some beating. 

The five Champions League titles on his mantelpiece, which he’ll need to pack in his carry-on, ushers him into the history books as one of the competition’s best. Karim Benzema (5) rubs shoulders with Dani Carvajal (5), Luka Modric (5) and Cristiano Ronaldo (5) as the quartet of players who have won the competition on five separate occasions. The modern-day kings of Europe, if you will.

Not only that, but the departing French Player of the Year on four occasions (2011, 12, 14, 21) vacates Europe with the Champions League record of scoring the most goals in a single Champions League campaign – 15 in 2021/22.

Who replaces Saudi Arabia new boy Karim Benzema?

Harry Kane is a name that is gaining traction. The 30-year-old striker is similar to Benzema in that his link play with those around him is phenomenal. He isn’t just a goal-getter, he’s much more than that. Real Madrid are losing out on a player that has featured in the top ten for La Liga assists in seven separate campaigns. Benzema also finished as a fixture in the top ten for assists across Europe’s top five leagues in both 2012/13 (6th) and 2021/22 (9th).

Additionally, Harry Kane is one of the best goalscorers in the world when he gets a sniff of an opportunity. And said chances will fall at his feet regularly in Spain, you can be sure of that.

That’s a difficult move, though. As is Kylian Mbappé, who will be high on most Real Madrid fans’ wish lists. Daniel Levy has him seemingly locked up in Tottenham’s new stadium, unable to leave. Metaphorically, of course. Kane’s camp has reportedly repositioned the narrative in the media and swiftly dampened any prospect of a move abroad. Instead, Kane’s focus lies in hunting the Premier League goalscoring record. Regardless, you listen when Real Madrid comes knocking for you to become their main number nine. 

Premier League Duo?

Kai Havertz and Roberto Firmino are linked to the vacant space across Carlo Ancelotti’s front line gather pace. Again, although coming into his twilight years, Firmino leaves Liverpool as a player bursting with Benzema-like qualities. Firmino would also provide the perfect platform for young Brazilians Rodrygo and Vinicius to soak up any knowledge – just as they have with Al Ittihad’s new man.

There’s no way Firmino could withstand the rigours of an entire campaign across all competitions. However, Havertz’s presence in tandem could quell such fears. Chelsea’s forward would be interested in a move to the Bernabéu. After all, the Blues need to whittle down their playing staff to a manageable cohort ahead of next season. 

Whoever the replacement, and whatever the route Real Madrid decide to go down, Karim Benzema’s shoes will be extremely tough to fill.

Karim Benzema Stats Ahead of Saudi Arabia Switch: Legend Status Leaving Madrid