Karim Benzema becomes Real Madrid's new Cristiano Ronaldo...
The French striker has bagged 29% of Real Madrid's goals during Zidane's second spell on the bench with Cristiano responsible for 28% during his first term as coach.
Replacing Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid with his 50 goals per season was an almost impossible task. The Portuguese striker racked up am impressive 450 goals in 438 games in the famous white shirt.
Finding a natural replacement for the Madeira born player was complicated in 2018 with Mbappé at that time not free until 2021. Neymar was ruled out as an option given his time with Barcelona and Premier League options such as Mohamed Salah or Tottenham's Kane were prohibitively expensive combined with adaptation doubts. It was at this point that Real Madrid executives decided that the solution was to ensure that existing strikers, Benzema, Asensio and Bale (later substituted for Hazard) needed to share between them the 50 goals per season that Cristiano guaranteed. Only the 32-year-old Karim Benzema has responded to the challenge with the Frenchman playing some of the finest football of his career.
Statistician Pedro Martín posted a message on Twitter reinforcing the importance of the Lyon born striker. "Benzema has been more important for Real Madrid in Zidane's second spell than Cristiano was in his first stint on the bench". Cristiano bagged 28% of the overall tally of goals in Zizou's first time on the Bernabeu bench (112 of 393), with Benzema bagging 29% of Real Madrid's goals in Zidane's second spell in charge (44 of the overall 148).
Real Madrid: Benzema and Cristiano
|Season.||R. Madrid games||Goals. for Madrid||Benzema goals||% Benzema||Cristiano goals||% Cristiano|
The problem for Real Madrid currently is the void of other goal getters at the club with the likes of Bale, Jovic and both Asensio and Eden Hazard failing to reach the heights expected of both players. Injury problems have hampered both strikers in establishing a constant line of progression with Hazard only managing two strikes in the entire 2019-20 season.
Without any clear striking support, Benzema continues to improve with age and recently wrote another page in the Real Madrid history books after he overtook Roberto Carlos as the foreign player with the most appearances for the club (529 against the Brazilian's 527) with this record set to be extended as his current deal with the club expires in June 2022.