REAL MADRID | KARIM BENZEMA
Benzema: Europe’s most lethal striker
The Frenchman has scored a goal every 68 minutes this season, the best goals-per-minute ratio of any striker across Europe’s top leagues.
Benzema may be causing a stir off the field – charged in his home country for conspiring to blackmail his national teammate Mathieu Valbuena, facing a potential five-year jail sentence and, for the time being, out of the French squad for this summer’s European Championship – but he’s in the best goal scoring form of his career. He leads Europe’s top leagues (Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France) in terms of goals-per-minute: he’s scored a goal for every 68 minutes he’s on the field, far ahead of Cristiano (112 minutes per goal) and even Madrid’s rumoured summer target Robert Lewandowski (82 minutes per goal). The Frenchman has racked up 16 goals in the league so far and has scored in each of his last four games against today’s rivals, Real Betis.
Benzema’s goalscoring record this season is nothing short of impressive: 20 goals (16 in the league and 4 in Europe) in only 19 games. He’s failed to score in just 7 games. It’s by far his most prolific season since he joined the club. At this same stage last season he’d scored 12, the same as in 2013-14. In 2012-13 he’d scored 7, 3 in 2010-11 and 6 in 2009-10 (his first season at the Bernabéu).
Today’s clash with Betis will be his 301st match as a Real Madrid player. In his first 300 outings he’s tallied up 153 goals and 66 assists. His average of 0.51 goals-per-game is marginally higher than it was at previous club Lyon (0.44), where he scored 66 in 148 matches.
His strong start to the season puts him in pole position to record his most prolific season yet and beat his previous best of 32 in 52 games (2011-12). That year he scored 21 league goals, 7 in Europe, 3 in the Cup and 1 in the Super Cup. At this stage of the season, he’d scored 12 goals.