5 reasons why Real Madrid will win La Liga in 2020-2021

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Karim Benzema
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Karim Benzema factor

Superstar players make the difference in a game of fine margins, and there is nobody who has come up clutch more often in 2020-2021 than Karim Benzema. The legendary No. 9 has turned up his performances to a “10” in the last several weeks. Since returning from an injury that forced Real to navigate a lineup with Mariano Diaz up top, Benz has been determined to lead the team back to the top of the table.

Benzema currently has eight goals in his last nine matches, including an outrageous backheel goal in the win over Barcelona. He has created goals, too. Even when he is not assisting, he is creating, as we saw in the build-up to Vinicius Junior’s second against Liverpool at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano last Tuesday.

The 33-year-old is sitting at 19 goals and 6 assists in 26 La Liga appearances, meaning he is averaging nearly one goal per game. Once again, Benzema is in the thick of the Pichichi race, giving the likes of Lionel Messi, Gerard Moreno, and Luis Suarez a real run for their money despite having to play a very different role from most goal-scorers.

Benzema has been the difference in wins over Barcelona, Elche, Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrid, and Athletic Bilbao this season. In each of these matches, if Benzema did not score, Real would have gone from a win to a loss or draw – or a draw to a loss. Notice that two of these matches were crucial in the title race against Barça and Atleti.

There are players who step up sometimes, and then there are players who step up all the time. Benzema is in the latter bracket, as he, like his manager, treats every match like a final.