Real Madrid saved their Champions League campaign and maybe their entire season thanks to their main man Karim Benzema once again.
The Frenchman scored twice on the night to bring Madrid back from the brink of elimination to win their group, and maintain their 100% record of progressing from the group stages. Two fine headers from crosses from Lucas Vazquez and Rodrygo were enough for a 2-0 win against Borussia Moenchengladbach and leapfrog the Germans into top spot.
Manager Zinedine Zidane was on the brink of being sacked following a disastrous start to the season, with Madrid needing to win their final group game to stand a chance of qualification, while also struggling in the league this season.
Their worst run of form non-coincidentally came during a period of time where they were without Sergio Ramos in the team, but also where Karim Benzema was out of the side.
He missed three games following defeat to Valencia, and Madrid picked up just one win in that time. He returned for the defeat to Shakhtar but was clearly not 100% fit and was getting some minutes under his belt. That became evident when he was substituted, despite being their main source of goals.
He struggled against Sevilla in the 1-0 win last weekend, but his presence alone seemed to be enough to occupy defenders as Zidane’s men got back to winning ways.
He was back to his best in midweek though and showed why even though he turns 33 years old later this month, he is still the man for the biggest club in the world.
During Cristiano Ronaldo’s time at the club he was often forced to play second fiddle, and rightly so, to the greatest goalscorer in the club’s history.
Despite that Benzema has worked his way up to be in the top five of the club’s all-time top goalscorers, and in his next appearance will become the foreign player with the most appearances in the club’s history – surpassing Roberto Carlos.
During Zidane’s second tenure he has been the talisman and the go-to player. He is a leader of the dressing room and leads by example on the pitch with his performance.
A world class footballer, a legend of the game and once again the saviour of Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane when they needed it most. Put some respect on Karim Benzema’s name.