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Karim Benzema’s second chance with Real Madrid in 2023

Benzema gets a second bite of the cherry with Real Madrid after his World Cup disappointment.

TOPSHOT - Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Spanish League football match between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on October 16, 2022. (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP)

Despite the fact that a large part of the season has passed him by, including the World Cup, Karim Benzema faces 2023 with plenty of challenges ahead. The Real Madrid striker, who has barely featured in the first half of the LaLiga season, has six months ahead of him to show why he won the Ballon d’Or. He is into the final six months of his contract with Los Blancos, although the club, player and his entourage know that an offer will be made to give him at least one more season at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Both Benzema and Real Madrid will be playing in five competitions in the first two months of the year. Between January and February they will be playing in LaLiga, the first rounds of the Copa del Rey (a title Madrid have not won since 2014), the Spanish Super Cup, where Los Blancos will defend the title, the Club World Cup (from 1 to 11 February) and the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Liverpool, in a tie that brings together the 2022 finalists.

Benzema aiming to make up for lost time

Another challenge he faces is to defend his title as top scorer in LaLiga and the Champions League. In the league, his closest rival, Robert Lewandowski, is eight goals ahead of him. The Poland international has scored 13 goals in 14 games, while Benzema has only five in seven appearances. With the striker facing a three-match ban, the former France international can close the gap.

It has been worse for him in Europe. Benzema has featured in just four games, failing to score or assist in the group stage, while his compatriot Kylian Mbappé and round of 16 opponent Mo Salah scored seven goals in the group stage. Last season, he had five goals at this stage of the competition, a third of the 15 he finished the Champions League campaign with. Now he is now starting from scratch and has another big six months ahead of him.