Real Madrid: Karim Benzema is the kind of No. 9 we love to watch

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema brings a different level of class to his position with his dribbling skills and creativity.

If you love football, then you love watching Karim Benzema. That’s the message we’ve heard time after time from people around the game, including his Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

Last week, Los Blancos had two massive 2-0 wins against Borussia Monchengladbach and Atletico Madrid. Benzema played a key role in both victories, working his socks off and showing the different sides of his game as the Real No. 9.

In the first match vs. Gladbach, Benzema scored two first-half headers past Yann Sommer en route to the win. Benzema’s clinical efficiency in the air was on display in the brace, with the first of the two goals being particularly impressive in accuracy.

And then on Saturday night in El Derbi, Karim Benzema helped pull the strings creatively in a different role for the team. Real Madrid put two goals past Jan Oblak as well, but the goals were courtesy of Casemiro and Dani Carvajal. Benzema did not need to be a scoring hero for Los Blancos.

He could have created a couple of goals, though, with the right personnel for the counterattack. Benzema made some ingenious flicks and passes in this match that need to be seen to be appreciated. They don’t get highlighted in the stat pages, because they didn’t result in anything statistically tangible, through no fault of his own.

But if you watched the Derbi, you saw Benzema’s technical quality and uniqueness as a No. 9 on full display. There are other players who do similar things as Benzema, such as Roberto Firmino of Liverpool. But “similar”, not the same. There is nobody who can do it like Benzema. Which other No. 9’s can play his deep creative role or dribble through multiple defenders from the goal-line into the heart of the penalty box? Is there a better chance-creator from counterattacks at the position?

Benzema makes football beautiful. He is both a technician’s kind of player and an Aesthetic FC aficionado’s No. 1. Every touch of the ball is both purposeful and elegant, a combination that his peers who don the No. 9 cannot touch. And his teammates? They all benefit from Benzema, and when Real Madrid do acquire or successfully develop a top-scoring forward, Benzema will be there to urge them along to superstardom.

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Sometimes the well runs dry, and even the best of strikers have their slumps. But when you turn on a Real Madrid match and sit absorbed by this team for the full 90 minutes, you cannot help but zero in on Benzema. When he is in his element, he is mesmerizing. And if you’re lucky, you just might see him pull off something like this.