Why Karim Benzema is no more ugly duckling

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With slightly bowed, almost a guilty glance Benzema problem gave him the ball in hand. Karim, you shoot.

Of course, the Cristiano Ronaldo's most reluctant to refer to his penalty of very reluctant Cristiano Ronaldo is somehow awesome. Among other things four Champions League title Benzema would have had to renounce without CR7. On the other hand, these successes were always been connected for the Frenchman to a lesser extent.

In the shadow of the goal machine

Ronaldo native of Lyon had indeed emulate long, so the Brazilian world champion. At the phenomenon he oriented his style, such was also as a young striker at Olympic. The move to Real Madrid — with only 21 years — had Benzema earned. But he landed in the summer of 2009, not alone in what is arguably the greatest of all clubs.

Besides Aka or ABI Alonso, the Royal still committed another attacker who was larger than life as the reigning World Player not only on the court. About Madrid seemed first and foremost on goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo, in whose shadow Benzema initially could not thrive the sun. And even when he succeeded — the shadow remained.

I've played for him.

Karim Benzema Cristiano Ronaldo

For Cristiano, I have put my soul scoring aside, admitted the incidents, as such, both Gonzalo Tiguan and attach Álvaro Morita, years later the TV station MOVISTAR +. I changed my game to play together with him. I played for him. Benzema, the former executor, was increasingly becoming a setter, the opponent band, tore open spaces or in front of goal transversely laid again. He had to do in order to exist as a striker alongside CR7.

The sacrifice of Benzema, it should pay off course. He was rarely the hero, that role belonged to Cristiano Ronaldo. But in exactly this constellation Real Madrid functioned as a geared at his individualist structure that three times in a row won the Champions League under coach Zinedine Zidane.

Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan: No Benzema, no problem | Champions League | ESPN FC

Collectively to Benzema could have imagined the adventure Real hardly spectacular. Individual — that was something else. As would be about an example from the February 2018: Real Madrid was just about 5: 2 win against Real Societal, a football festival in royal white. But suddenly there were whistles — for a striker, who seemed to have forgotten how to score goals.

Defining roles: Cristiano Ronaldo (r.) Celebrates, Karim Benzema (l.) Comes to congratulate him. Getty Images

Many fans did not recognize

Also, CR7 had already done, so many missed shot, but in the demanding Studio Santiago Bernabéu, he was the proud swan — while Benzema was almost stunted the ugly duckling. Very few viewers seemed the value of the French to recognize its Cristiano Ronaldo was fully aware when he docked even at that moment with the home crowd and called encouraging applause for his colleagues.

Two weeks later, at 4: 0 against Deporting Slaves, followed the scene with the penalty kick, Benzema way, certainly transformed. Although Cristiano Ronaldo, the most tormented conscience, actually on the way to three-pack was. And soon on his way to Juventus.

The period after CR7 proved difficult at first in Madrid. Also, because there is no adequate substitute came. Eden Hazard would have a year later, in 2019, should be, maybe. But his personal suffering prevented this story completely. A noticeably modified Benzema: for gate and guarantee of success, another blossomed in the meantime.

Twice as efficient

How CR 7 years has developed since the championship season 2019/20 to its full-fledged replacement of Arbiter from the last two, also underpin various numbers. So Benzema shoots now 0.69 instead of 0.35 goals per game, although his Expected Goals values ​​have not changed (0.56 to 0.53). Means: As offensive fixed point the Frenchman now comes in better financial statement items and is suddenly twice as efficient. The striker has returned his soul.

You rarely see that Karim Benzema times misses a great chance. Madrid

The first option in the royal attack no longer carries the number seven but the number nine. Now plays more like one. Benzema comes in the penalty box per game now 5.84 times the ball more than once often than not in his old role. As a target player, he is also less defensive work obligation (3.05 defensive actions per game — previously 3.66).

Although the new Benzema remains a playable center-to-center, with 35.67 to 30.71 passes per game even a whole piece more active than next to the lurking CR7. If he had still been specifically looking for the Portuguese as an investment station, he is now the primary: Passes plays Benzema in the last third per game only 2.29 (previously 2,83), he takes more often more frequently (3.40 instead of 2.64). Also, so doubles the door yield.

The new Benzema: in the last third is now less fit and more shot. Madrid

Different players instead of scapegoat, jubilation towers instead of whistling concerts. And not only players Toni Kroos had brought him into play even as a balloon-d'or winner. For Benzema, the individualists, has changed a lot since the departure of the individualist Cristiano Ronaldo. But this glory also has its price. In the Champions League, Blanco no longer play a major role without the five-time world footballer.

A own player

So it says Title or Goals for Karim Benzema, whose form of life (17 results, eight templates in 20 season games) is no longer ever after his advanced age? At least the championship, as in 2020, seems to be just about Real Madrid this year.

And now Champions League dominated by the English teams? As in the best times, the royal at least once again have a great trump in the hand — which is no longer called Cristiano Ronaldo. And who has received his own player with by starter Vinicius Junior.