REAL MADRID

Benzema: Real Madrid ace turns 29 level with great Butragueño

Karim Benzema's Club World Cup final goal saw him net for the 171st time in a Real shirt - having taken 128 games fewer than 'El Buitre'. France-England live

Benzema posa con el trofeo del Mundial de Clubes.

Striker Karim Benzema celebrated his 29th birthday on Monday fresh from helping Real Madrid to Club World Cup success, and in a rich vein of recent form.

Four goals in last three appearances

Benzema has hit four goals in his last three games: two against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, and one in each of Los Blancos' clashes in Japan.

Has equalled Butragueño haul - in less time

What's more, his Club World Cup final strike against Kashima Antlers - which capped a superb individual display - saw him draw level with legend Emilio Butragueño on 171 as Real's ninth highest ever goalscorer.

Benzema (right) celebrates with his Real Madrid team-mates after giving Los Merengues the lead during the Club World Cup final on Sunday.

And the Frenchman has reached the total in 128 appearances fewer than 'El Buitre', with a goals-per-game average of 0.51 that also beats Real greats such as Raúl González Blanco (0.43) and Santillana (0.45). 

Next in the ex-Olympique Lyonnais man's sights is Pirri, who is just one ahead in the Bernabéu outfit's all-time standings on 172.

Real's leading scorer in Champions League

Benzema, who has been at Madrid since 2009, has netted 10 times in 20 matches this term, reserving his best scoring form for international competitions.

In addition to his record of two in two at the Club World Cup, he is Real's top marksman in this season's Champions League, with four goals in six games.