Karim Benzema is having the best season of his career. It is a fact. The Frenchman is like good wine, he improves over the years and continues to progress. His importance at Real Madrid has continued to grow since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Karim Benzema is having the best season of his career, both in terms of his impact on the game and his ability to score goals. Not only is he a fundamental part of the team’s game, but he’s also the obvious candidate for the Ballon d’Or at the end of the year.
7/11 this season, a perfectible record
However, in a supernatural season, the relentless Karim Benzema showed he also had a weakness: penalties. If the French is, with Insigne, the player of the five major championships who has taken the most penalties (11) this season, his percentage is among the lowest: he scored seven, or 63.6%. The Italian, meanwhile, scored one more goal with the same number of attempts, improving his success rate to 72.7%.
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If we only take into account players who have taken at least five penalties this season to have a large enough sample to judge their quality in this matter, there are only three players with a worse record than Benzema. Iago Aspas, Lautaro Martínez and Amine Gouiri who scored three out of five, or 60%.
Not as effective as exercise “specialists”
On the other hand, several “specialists” are ruthless on the line of eleven meters. The best in Spain is Carlos Soler, with seven goals from seven attempts. Jorginho and Berardi are six from six, while Roberto Lewandowski has scored five from five. Mohamed Salah (five out of six), Ciro Inmobile (six out of eight) and Dusan Vlahovic (five out of six) are less than perfect, but they all have a better record than Karim Benzema.
The Frenchman, with these penalties left on the way, loses his chances of fighting for the Golden Shoe. The Pichichi trophy is assured with 25 goals (50 points). With four more goals from the penalty spot, he would reach 29 goals this season and get closer to Lewandowski’s 32 (64 points). In addition, he would have left behind him Ciro Inmobile, with whom he is currently tied. It would also have allowed him to dream of finishing the season with 50 goals in all competitions. He currently has 39 and has just seven matches left (eight if the Champions League final is reached).
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Against Osasuna he became the first player in Real Madrid history to miss two penalties in a league game, something that hadn’t happened since 2005/06. Despite everything, Carlo Ancelotti does not lose faith in his star player. “If there had been a third penalty, he would have taken it.” he said at a press conference after Benzema saw his two penalties saved. At a time of the season when mistakes weigh heavier than usual, Karim Benzema is ready to take responsibility and Carletto is ready to give it to him.