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Karim Benzema inches towards Lionel Messi benchmark with goal vs Rayo

Karim Benzema inches towards Lionel Messi benchmark with goal vs Rayo

Benzema closes on Lionel Messi record

Real Madrid’s star striker Karim Benzema is amongst the goals again tonight as Los Blancos host Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu, 2-0 up at the time of writing.

His first-half strike was the tenth goal of the La Liga season for the French international, as he tops the goal charts in the Spanish top flight, but the strike held much greater significance than simply confirming the fact that he has already hit the double-digit mark so early in the season.

Via OptaJose, the 38th-minute effort by Benzema meant that he has now achieved the same 10-goal mark in eleven of his thirteen seasons in La Liga while in the Spanish capital.

Unsurprisingly, only Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has achieved a higher number of seasons that featured 10-goals or more in the 21st century, with the Argentine icon achieving the feat a record-fifteen times.

For Karim Benzema, it is yet another feather in his cap during the first half of the 2021-22 season, where the Frenchman continues to prove that he is truly one of Europe’s elite cadre of center-forwards.

Out from under Ronaldo’s shadow

Though Benzema has achieved a great amount of success during his thirteen-year love affair with Real Madrid, the former Olympique Lyonnais academy graduate was not always the darling of the Spanish giants.

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 26: Karim Benzema (C) of Real Madrid celebrates his goal with Royston Drenthe (L) and Cristiano Ronaldo (R) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Tenerife at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 26, 2009 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Elisa Estrada/Real Madrid via Getty Images)

MADRID, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 26: Karim Benzema (C) of Real Madrid celebrates his goal with Royston Drenthe (L) and Cristiano Ronaldo (R) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Tenerife at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 26, 2009 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Elisa Estrada/Real Madrid via Getty Images)

Despite hitting a single-season career-high 24-goals in 2015-16 while Portuguese icon Cristiano Ronaldo was still plying his trade in the capital, Benzema was so often the sidekick to Ronaldo despite his own immense level of talent.

Since Ronaldo swapped Real for Italian giants Juventus, though, Benzema has embarked on a massive goal-scoring spree in the wake of the Portuguese’s departure.

Not including the current campaign, Benzema has hit over 20-goals in the league for three consecutive seasons; the only period in his career in which he has managed to achieve such a feat.

With 65-goals in 107-appearances in the least three league campaigns, the Lyon-native is currently undertaking his best-ever goal return despite now being 33-years old. If his current goal tally is extrapolated, Benzema is on course to crack the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career, while already sitting fourth all-time in Real Madrid’s goalscoring charts for both league (202) and total goals scored (293).

Should his scintillating form continue, there is no doubting that Benzema will eventually end up in the top-three in goals for the club, and an undisputed Real Madrid legend come the end of his time in Spain.


This article was edited by Conor Laird.