LIGA – It's battle in battle. Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema have established themselves as the dominant individuals in the season in Spain before meeting on Wednesday during the clash between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid (21:00). If this is not new to the Argentine, on the other hand, the French are less used to approving the status of White House leader for a Clasico.
Benzema, a worthy heir
La Clasico will never be reduced to a fight between two individuals. But this impression was much less clear in the last decade, when this legendary poster was vampirized by the duel between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The departure from CR7 to Juventus Torino put an end to this stellar opposition and deprived Real of his attacking leader. Karim Benzema has admirably taken up this flashlight so difficult to carry in a club as demanding as the White House. Already very clearly last season, the impact of the French striker is even greater on the current practice.
- Its impact on results
His goal of overtime in Valencia (1-1) on Sunday to draw Real Madrid sums up Benzema's season quite well. He is the decisive man, the one who makes the difference and scores points. That was already the case against Celta Vigo (1-3), Valladolid (1-1), Levante (3-2), Sevilla (0-1), Real Sociedad (3-1), Espanyol Barcelona (2-0) or even PSG (2-2) in the Champions League. Of his 16 games played in La Liga, only four are where the former Lyonnais did not score a goal or issue an assist. The numbers reflect its regularity and performance level.
With Benzema, as with Messi for that matter, that is also what the statistics do not show. When it comes to the Frenchman, it is his intelligence when he travels. His ability to free up space for his teammates, his ability to speed the game on the only quality of his shots or his racing volume that allows him to sweep the entire front of the attack, in width or depth. If he is so often sought after, it is primarily because he knows how to make himself available at all times. His register goes far beyond the goal scorer. He also became technical manager for Real.