COPA DEL REY
Benzema and Griezmann play ‘Le Derby’ as Real Madrid and Atlético face off
While Karim buffs his Ballon d’Or, Antoine sings ‘La Vie en Rose’. The madridista arrives after scoring in his last five; the colchonero fresh from scoring. Champagne football.
The derby gunmen speak French. Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann, 35 and 31 respectively, are two different striking visions in the Spanish capital. What they both agree on is the dependency their teams have on them.
Madrid vs Atlético: Benzema and Griezmann add French flair
Since the World Cup, Madrid has played five games and in each one their number 9 has scored, while at Atleti, the number 8, currently with pink hair, has been the catalyst and arrives at the derby after scoring a great goal and providing an assist in the 3-0 win over Valladolid.
Benzema, ‘the nine with the soul of a ten’, seems to be finding his best form again. The golden touch of his Ballon d’Or shone over him again at the weekend in San Mamés with a tremendous volleyed goal. Griezmann, meanwhile, sings La Vie en Rose for Simeone in the fine job he had already started at Atlético and continued during the World Cup with Deschamps as an all-round attacker. He only has one goal less (7) than Morata, the spearhead of the attack, and is the main assist giver (7) for the conchoneros. He plays and makes them tick.
Benzema and Griezmann: goals and assists
The relevance of both forwards is also noticeable in how they harmonize with their teammates. Benzema was key to Vinicius’ exponential growth last year, assisting seven of the Brazilian’s 22 goals. Griezmann’s link up role now sees him having to direct a new piece in the Atleti puzzle, the recently signed Memphis Depay. When it comes to finishing, Karim is sharper than Antoine: the madridista scoring every 127 minutes (with 6.3 shots per goal) while the rojiblanco does it every 252 minutes (9.1 shots per goal).
And there’s more.
KB9 and Grizi have other Frenchmen in their ranks. Also singing La Marseillaise for the derby are Camavinga and Mendy (while Tchouameni is injured), as well as Thomas Lemar and Kondogbia (born in France at least) on the other side.
Champagne football all round, and who can complain at that?
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