Benzema, a real hero at Real Madrid
The year 2022 is coming to an end for Karim Benzema. An incredible year, unprecedented, but above all synonymous with success for the Real Madrid striker. Everything had started very well for the Frenchman, decisive with his club, taking him to the final victory in Champions League and in La Liga. Last season, for Benzema, it was 44 goals and 15 assists in 46 games in the merengue jersey. And not just any goals.
Everyone obviously remembers his incredible hat-trick against the Paris Saint Germain to eliminate the French club in the round of 16. But also his performance in the quarter against Chelsea, and his more than precious goals against Manchester City in the semi-finals. Benzema was one of the great architects of the coronation of Real Madrid in C1, but also in La Liga, ahead of Barça. Successes, but also XXL performances. It must be said that KB9 had never felt so good, and so strong. Centerpiece of Ancelotti’s team, he is also the master of the Madrid eleven, accompanied by the inexhaustible Luka Modric. Benefits that left no one indifferent, and even less the voters for the Ballon d’Or.
From the Holy Grail to the biggest disappointment
Because yes, Karim Benzema definitely changed dimension on October 17, at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The Real Madrid player has become the fifth Frenchman to win the Ballon d’Or after Raymond Kopa, Michel Platini, Jean-Pierre Papin and Zinédine Zidane. As a symbol, it was his former coach who gave him the Holy Grail. A special distinction for a player rewarded for his incredible longevity at the highest level. A player who has totally exploded since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from the Santiago Bernabéu. He also said to himself, when receiving the trophy, the People’s Golden Ball. In Bron, a gigantic fresco pays tribute to the former Lyonnais, hero of an entire city.
But after having lived his best hours, Karim Benzema quickly returned to reality. He ended 2022 in the worst possible way. After presenting his Ballon d’Or at Groupama Stadium, in front of his home crowd, he had to turn to the other major event of the year: the World Cup in Qatar. Called by Didier Deschamps despite his physical pain, the number 19 of the Blues was finally forced to forfeit before the start of the competition. A decision by the staff of the France team that the Real player is still struggling to understand. Especially since it has not been digitally replaced. Returned to training with the Merengues a few days later, KB9 could well have taken part in the World Cup. But Deschamps and his staff have decided otherwise.
The day after the final lost by the Blues, and on his 35th birthday, Benzema announced the end of his international career. Unless a certain ZZ arrives in 2023. But the trend is more towards the extension of the current coach. Thus ends the strange year of Karim Benzema, European champion and Ballon d’Or of the people. No doubt it will be even stronger in 2023.