Real Madrid: 3 tasks for Karim Benzema in Euro 2020

France, Karim Benzema (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
France, Karim Benzema (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid’s star striker Karim Benzema has finally been called up to his national camp for the upcoming European Championship. To say the least, King Karim deserved his call-up. He has been in the form in his life and, has been Real Madrid’s most valuable player in the recently concluded 2020-21 season.

My colleague Eesh Jhamb listed the Frenchman as the most worthy Madridista to keep an eye on throughout the tournament, and I couldn’t agree with him more. Yes, every single Real Madrid player would have our attention but I can safely negotiate a little more attention upon Karim. There is a list of things to look out for as Madrid’s striker king puts on his national kit after six long years.

Karim has already caught the attention of the world with his sparkling display in their first pre-tournament friendly against Wales. Ironically, another team featuring a Madridista, Gareth Bale. France will play another friendly against Bulgaria before kick-starting their campaign in Group F, a group comprising of Germany, Portugal, and Hungary alongside Karim’s France side. Rightly enough, the group has been dubbed ‘the group of death’.

Coming back to the friendly against Wales, Karim had a masterclass running despite missing a penalty. He got a header on target as early as four minutes into the game, announcing his return to the national side. Throughout the 90 minutes, his touches and smart exchanges were of the highest order, bringing as many players as he could into the attack.

The usual from Karim Benzema: Goals and goal contributions

The performance against Wales has elevated expectations from fans by great degrees. Though the Real Madrid CF didn’t get on the scoresheet, the signs were plentiful and positive for a month-long tournament to go. He featured in a two-striker system upfront with Antoine Griezmann playing a creative role just behind the frontline of Benzema and Kylian Mbappe.

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Despite the change in system from a much used-to one CF system at Real Madrid, Big Benz glued perfectly to the French side. It will be realistic to expect that he would be walking out of the tournament with few goals to show for. He would be playing alongside superb finishers like Mbappe and Griezmann and therefore, Benzema’s creativity can also make us expect ample chance creation from Madrid’s No. 9.

Benzema works brilliantly when he has equally talented finishers around. We have been witnesses to his brilliance at drawing on defenders and releasing the ball from a teammate during his time with Cristiano Ronaldo or to some extent, Gareth Bale.

The past season, too, he made successful openings for Vinicius Junior, Marco Asensio, and Carlos Casemiro to name a few. He ended his season with Los Blancos as their second-highest assister with 9 assists to his name.

The Euro campaign can be expected to be one of greater creativity for King Karim, especially because, unlike Real Madrid, he’d be playing in an attack where he can realistically trust his teammates to successfully finish the move. And, who better than Mbappe to trust with finishing?

A soft investment toward recruiting Kylian Mbappe at Real Madrid

As fishy as it sounds, Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe working together at the National Camp can be a great development for Madridista’s hopes of seeing the lethal Kylian Mbappe in the Royal White kit. They two have gelled brilliantly and that is apparent from both striker’s social media activity.

They have been enjoying each other’s company during the training sessions and that reflected well in the match against Wales. The two Frenchmen seemed to have linked well and in a lot of instances during the match, they were looking for each other to link up play, get balls into the box, or maybe even for the shortest of exchanges.

Benzema’s statements about Kylian Mbappe also reflect the same and point towards a direction that allures fans to believe that it is possible. And, most importantly, those two playing well together is the biggest thing to look forward to. Considering that a Mbappe move is bound to happen, what could be better than both Benzema and Mbappe working well as an attacking system even BEFORE the latter’s move to Madrid?

The title itself?

It would be a tall ask but France has a brilliant side prepared for the European Championships and they would be a few Pundits’ favorites for the tournament. The biggest among the steps would be to survive the ‘group of death’ that would feature two other strong sides, one a definite favorite side, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.

But here’s something certain. Karim Benzema would be expected to be a key player for France as long as they survive in the competition. The group stages themselves are a big ask but I’d fancy them to move past it. If they do, and with the depth they are carrying this summer, a final appearance could be on the cards.

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A national title for France and King Karim playing a key role in getting there would be the biggest expectation from Real Madrid’s star striker as we head into the Euros week. Enjoy watching, readers!