Karim Benzema's stunning run of form for Real Madrid and France
In 2021/22, Benzema has scored 19 goals and provided nine assists in just 22 games for Real Madrid and France.
Karim Benzema is in the form of his life. The France international continued in his rich vein of form with three more goals for France in two matches during the international break. A brace against Kazakhstan and another against Finland saw him add to his international tally.
Benzema's return to play for Les Bleus has been a success thus far, scoring nine goals and providing two assists in 13 games, after signing a peace agreement with head coach Didier Deschamps and the president of the FFF, Nöel Le Graet.
Scoring for Real Madrid and France
As well as his three goals for France, he has also showed an understanding with Kylian Mbappé in attack for France. In 2021/22, Benzema has scored 19 goals and provided nine assists in just 22 games for Real Madrid and France. Having played 1,798 minutes of football this campaign, he has scored a goal every 95 minutes and is involved in a goal every 64 minutes. These are the sort of numbers that have him performing at a level close to that of Cristiano Ronaldo at Madrid. Ronaldo scored 450 goals in 438 games, a goal every 84 minutes.
In 2018/19, Benzema scored a goal every 143 minutes and was involved in one every 105 minutes. In 2019/20, he scored every 147' and was involved every 105'; and in 2020/21 he improved, scoring a goal every 128' and being involved in the creation of one every 99'. In those three seasons, he led the line and took on more responsibility after Cristiano's departure. He was, however, hampered by Los Blancos' difficulties in generating attacking football, with Zinedine Zidane more focused on defensive solidity rather than attacking joy.
Benzema's numbers improve
His numbers this term significantly exceed the output of his previous season. In 2011/12, for Madrid and France he scored 35 goals and gave 25 assists in 4,362 minutes. In 2015/16 (30 goals and 9 assists in just 2,776 minutes). In the latter, he scored every 93 minutes, slightly better than this season, but was involved in a goal every 71 minutes. That season marked the beginning of the Valbuena affair, which would eventually lead to a ban from the national team for almost six years.
Benzema has finally garnered praise at both Real Madrid and with the French national team. With Madrid, he was initially criticised somewhat for his lifestyle and his coldness on the pitch. In France, he didn't start off on the best foot either, but his conflict with Valbuena was the big turning point. It still remains to be seen what happens with the verdict of the trial, which will be made public on 24 November, although Le Graet has already anticipated that, whether he is convicted or not, he will not be excluded from France squads going forward.