Real Madrid: Ranking the five best No. 9’s in club history

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Karim Benzema
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

2. Karim Benzema

Was there ever any doubt about our current No. 9 making it to the list? After everything he has done for the club for the past twelve years and for everything he is still doing, he deserves to be on this list of elites. Currently the fifth highest goalscorer in the history of Real Madrid, Benzema stands at the second position in this list.

Benzema was bought as a Galactico by Florentino Perez for a sum of 35 million euros in the summer of 2009, arriving at Madrid as a proven player, after a brilliant stint at Lyon. But he had a slow start to life at Real Madrid, as he scored just 9 goals and assisted another six in his debut season.

But he bounced back in the next three seasons under Jose Mourinho, as he scored 78 goals and had 49 assists to his name under the Portuguese. Though the manager preferred Gonzalo Higuain in certain situations, Benzema gained his place with his performances. He proved himself to be a consistent goalscorer and an excellent creator, the traits which were visible in Raul. Though he didn’t exactly play like Raul, he was pretty much the successor to the Eternal Capitan.

He couldn’t guarantee a goal in every game, but he could guarantee you a good game almost every time he steps onto the pitch. And if he couldn’t score, he would assist another teammate of his, with Cristiano Ronaldo being on the receiving end most of the time (Benzema has been assisted by Cristiano most of the time as well). He built an excellent partnership with the Portuguese, and the chemistry was often visible on the pitch with both of them adjusting perfectly to each other’s positioning and style of play.

He grew up to become one of the best strikers of all time, and he has proven himself to be a player who could guarantee you at least 20 goals per season. Currently, after 12 seasons at Real Madrid,  Benzema has 277 goals in 555 games. As a great linkup player, he has 146 assists to his name and is the all-time highest assister of Real Madrid. When Karim said that he is a No. 9 with a soul of a No. 10, he wasn’t wrong.

He has won 3 LaLiga titles, 4 Champions League titles, 2 Copa Del Rey titles in his tenure at Real Madrid, and scored the opening goal in the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool. He has scored 71 goals in Europe’s premier competition and is currently the joint fourth-highest goalscorer of the competition.

Despite all his achievements, he has often been an easy target for the fans and the Spanish media, whenever the team and himself were having a bad run. His finishing was often criticized by the critics, but he has silenced each one of them with his performances over the last three years. He has been the team’s main goalscorer and attacking leader since Ronaldo left. Hope he continues to do so for many more years to come and cements his name in the history books of Real Madrid as one of the biggest legends ever!