REAL MADRID

Karim Benzema hits the mark every 77 minutes on average in La Liga

The swashbuckling Frenchman has already bagged 21 goals this season, equalling his best ever tally and is also Real Madrid's joint tenth all-time top scorer in the domestic league.
Real Madrid v. Málaga live online

Karim Benzema and Marcelo during El Clasico
FERNANDO ZUERAS DIARIO AS

Karim Benzema is enjoying his best season since joining Real Madrid. The France international played yet another pivotal role at the Camp Nou, getting the equaliser for the visitors. With a tally of 21 La Liga goals, he has already matched his highest ever return in front of goal in the domestic competition, which he recorded in the 2011-12 season, and still has seven more games to improve on that figure. In addition, he is the division’s most lethal striker, hitting the mark every 77 minutes on average.

However, while Benzema is Madrid’s second top scorer and the fourth most deadly hitman in the competition, his goals tend to be more decisive. The former Lyon front man has opened the scoring in nine games, making him La Liga’s most reliable deadlock breaker, alongside his compatriot Antoine Griezmann.

Rafa Benítez set the number nine a challenge at the beginning of the season: “I’ve set him the target of scoring between 20 and 25 goals". The 28-year-old has already notched up 25 (21 in the league and four in the Champions League) and will now be setting his sights on surpassing the 32 he reached in the 2011-12 season, his greatest tally to date since signing for Los Blancos.

Benzema has also made his way into the Real Madrid history books. His acrobatic finish against Barcelona brought his overall tally in La Liga to 108 (210 matches) and drew him level with Pahíño as the club’s tenth all-time top scorer in the domestic competition.

The Frenchman has had dizzying heights and crushing lows this year. On the one hand, he has been embroiled in some contemptible off-the-field antics, which have involved a very murky court case. On the other hand, he is in the best form of his Real Madrid football-playing life.