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Karim Benzema equals Real Madrid record ahead of Champions League final vs Liverpool

By Colin Millar

Karim Benzema equalled a highly coveted Real Madrid record after finding the net in Thursday night’s six-goal victory over Levante.

The Frenchman played a critical role in Madrid’s 35th La Liga title but has most notably starred as the club reached the Champions League final for this season. The semi-final display was another magical performance from Benzema after his quickfire hat-trick that downed Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16 before bagging another treble against Chelsea in the quarter-final stage of the competition, whom he netted a winner against in extra-time of the return leg.

The 34-year-old has been in sparkling form this campaign and has netted a remarkable 44 goals in 44 appearances this campaign. That has comfortably surpassed his previous best of 32 strikes for a season back in 2011-12. The striker has scored 15 goals in the Champions League in just 11 appearances this campaign and has been the standout player in this season’s tournament.

Benzema is the oldest player to score 40 goals or more in one campaign for a club in Europe’s top four leagues since Ferenc Puskas. It is not only the number of his goals, but the quality – the opening strike against City in the first leg measured an xG (expected goal) of just 0.035, while he has now scored 10 goals from 4.75 xG across his last five games against PSG, Chelsea and City.

Benzema won La Liga's Player of the Month award for April (David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

His strike against Levante on Thursday was his 323 rd goal in the colours of Real Madrid, which equals the record of club legend Raul Gonzalez. The only player who has scored more goals for the Spanish giants was Cristiano Ronaldo, who bagged a scarcely believable 450 goals in just 438 appearances for the club.

Furthermore, Benzema equalled Raul’s tally but in 138 fewer matches – meaning that he is now elevated above the club legend in the charts in terms of goals per games. However, Benzema has played 165 more games for Real Madrid than Ronaldo did and is still 127 goals behind the Portuguese superstar – who departed in the summer of 2018.

Have Your Say! Is Benzema the best player in the world? Tell us what you think here.

Vinicius Junior - who scored a hat-trick in the six-goal win over Levante - celebrates with Benzema (David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger told beIN SPORTS on Benzema: "I would say he's a demonstration of intelligence and efficiency. Everything he does is intelligent, and it looks simple. When I see him play, I think I could do the same! We know all that he does is exceptional, and he uses always the right surface to be the most efficient. He slows down to accelerate, he accelerates and slows down. He smells the rhythm of the game like nobody else, and it is something interesting we see across Europe now is the oldest strikers are the most efficient.

"Lewandowski, Benzema, Ibrahimovic, all these players score goals at 40 or 35. The best strikers in Europe are all over 30-years-old because they use every mistake of the opponent. I would say Benzema until 30, I think he had two or three kilos too many. Now he's a real athlete, and that's why today certainly he is one of the two or three best strikers in the world."

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Dive Deeper:
Karim Benzema equals Real Madrid record ahead of Champions League final vs Liverpool
The Frenchman is now up to a stunning 44 goals for the campaign across all competitions and is showing no…
Carlo Ancelotti tells Liverpool how Real Madrid will set up in Champions League final
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has opened up on his tactics ahead of his side's Champions League final with Liverpool…
Carlo Ancelotti tips hand on Real Madrid’s tactics for Champions League final with Liverpool
Ancelotti is hoping to become the first four-time winner of the European Cup as a manager
Real Madrid game plan for Champions League final with Liverpool emerges as Sadio Mane decision clear
We have rounded up the latest Liverpool headlines as Carlo Ancelotti looks ahead to the Champions League final and the…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
'It's true' - Carlo Ancelotti confirms two Real Madrid starters and tactic for Liverpool Champions League final
Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the final of the Champions League having faced Los Blancos four years ago in…
Champions League final: Liverpool and Real Madrid clash to be shown free by BT Sport
The station will broadcast all three UEFA finals this month for free on its website and YouTube, including Rangers' Europa…
Get all your news in one place