Karim Benzema might be the world’s best at something he gets little credit for

Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Karim Benzema concluded a successful, Supercopa-winning tournament with two goals, the most of anyone in the competition. The Real Madrid striker has been scoring goals all season long, as his penalty in the final was his 24th goal of the 2021-2022 campaign. As he aims for 50, Madridistas will surely be cheering him on.

That penalty against Athletic Bilbao in Saudi Arabia was the 15th of his Real Madrid career. And not only was it his 15th attempt for the Merengue club, but it was also his 15th make.

That’s right, Benzema has been 100 percent automatic from the spot in his career with the most pressurized club in the world. Since Sergio Ramos’ departure to PSG, Benzema is the undisputed penalty taker, and he is an even four-for-four in 2021-2022 thus far. Previously, he nailed his only penalty in 2020-2021 and then all five of his attempts in 2019-2020.

Benzema is getting better with age, and his execution from the spot is the latest evidence of that. He is up there with the best of the best in technical quality, and, thus, it is not far-fetched to say that a man with a 100 percent rate from the spot is up there with the hallowed penalty-takers of the current era – fellow icons Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Karim Benzema is the top star at Real Madrid now, and he plays like it

Like Ronaldo before him, Benzema is “The guy” in the attack for Madrid, especially from a goal-scoring standpoint. And like CR7, Benz is taking on the responsibility of being the man with ice in his veins from 11 meters. As we saw against Unai Simon, it does not matter if a very good goalkeeper guesses right. Benzema has the perfect mix of accuracy, technique, and power to beat anyone. Who can forget his picture-perfect penalty last weekend vs. Valencia either?

In his career, Benzema has only missed four penalties. Of those four, three were in competitive matches. Two of them were with Lyon as a 20-year-old, and the other one was with France in the 2014 World Cup. But for his favorite team, Real Madrid, Benzema is perfect. And since turning 30 with no Ronaldo by his side, Benzema has been unmissable.

The sample is small, yes. And Benzema will eventually have to miss one. Even Sergio Ramos, with his streak of makes, could not convert two for the national team. Robert Lewandowski did not go nine-for-nine in the 2020-2021 season, missing one penalty (only one) in a record-breaking year. Cristiano Ronaldo missed two in 2020-2021 with Juventus. Nobody is perfect.

Well, except for Benzema, recently. As the penalties, hopefully, keep coming for this more aggressive Real Madrid attack, let’s see if Benz can keep this streak up. As he has matured into a leader and the top scorer in Madrid, he has handled his increased importance with great poise. That is exemplified in his accuracy from the spot, long may it continue.

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And if it continues, perhaps Karim Benzema, who is not usually discussed as an elite penalty-taker, will receive some shouts for being the best in the world in this specific category. That’s not far-fetched either, considering we are talking about a man who received Ballon d’Or shouts from some of the most respected people in the sport last year.