KARIM THE DREAM
14 years ago, a boy from Lyon had a dream of playing for the best club in the world. Later he would become the most important Real Madrid icon since Raul Gonzalez.
In the 2009 summer, Real Madrid signed eight players away to Santiago Bernabeu, including Ballon d’Or winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká, showcasing their ambition to assemble a team of Galacticos for the coming years. But there was another attacker in that list, who didn’t have that much hype. A 21-year-old Algerian-origin French striker from Olympique Lyonnais, Who would later become the most important Real Madrid icon since Raul Gonzalez. His name was Karim Mostafa Benzema.
Back then, very few people expected Benzema to replace Raul as a player, let alone as a Madrid icon.
It was destined that in his final game, Raul got injured and then left the pitch to be replaced by Karim Benzema. In Real Madrid, Benzema’s main role has been to create opportunities for others to score. He’s creative, he’s smart, he’s more delicate than Suárez, Lewandowski, Ibrahimović, Cavani,etc. He drops deep to support others in midfield. He makes the dummy runs to confuse the opposition’s defense. He is a master of hold-up play.
Madrid’s deadly counterattacks were often started by Benzema. Even though he didn’t get the limelight enough, it was him that held the BBC trio together. What they needed was a player to provide the conditions for others to score, and for that role, there is no one better than Benzema.
One might say that the presence of Ronaldo meant that Benzema could never demand a lot since he wasn’t doing the bulk of the scoring. That might have been a strong argument but Benzema’s post-Ronaldo years are a testament to his intense Madridismo.
Since Ronaldo left Real Madrid, Benzema has been the main man for Real Madrid having a huge chunk of goal contributions to his name. He led his team to the 14th champion’s league title last year. It was his fifth, but this one bears his signature, having scored 15 goals in the competition.
Real Madrid made the greatest comebacks the world of football has ever seen under his wings in that campaign, especially his hat trick against PSG in the round of 16 will be remembered for a long time.
While others have already begun an inevitable decline at the same age, in his 18th professional season, the Real Madrid striker has finally put his hands on his dream. With him, the Ballon d’Or has ended up once again on a striker’s foot. It was so poetic, the whole thing.
14 years ago, a boy from lyon had a dream of playing for the best club in the world. Now he is the most decorated player in the history of Real Madrid along with Marcelo and the second-highest goalscorer for the club. But there is one that stands out for me on top of all, Karim’s love towards the badge. He is not a traditional striker, he won’t score a lot of goals, but he will make others look good and make Madrid win at the end of the day.
He knows that with his style of play, he will always be underappreciated for his efforts, but he keeps on playing for 14 years in that role, he is happy with that as long as Madrid wins. One player that Real Madrid are not ready to replace is Karim Benzema. Because he is Madrid’s whole system.
The last thing I would want to hear was Karim’s departure. Unfortunately, every chapter must close. He is undoubtedly one of the best players ever to wear the Real Madrid’s badge. Thank you for everything and it’s been an honor, King.