How Karim Benzema defied critics to become an all-time Real Madrid great
- Karim Benzema has persevered and stood the test of time at Real Madrid to rise to the level of a legend for Los Blancos.
Appearances - 500
Benzema's fitness levels during his time at the club have been exemplary. Rarely injured, he has never played less than 33 games in a season and has made 50 or more appearances on four occasions.
These games have been some of the biggest in world football. He has played in four Champion's League finals and been part of four FIFA World Club Cup winning squads.
He is currently just outside the top 10 of Real Madrid's all time list and will need to play another 60 games for the club to break into that list but given his extraordinary fitness levels and consistency he should comfortably make it and will have his eye on playing at least 600 times for the club.
He is approaching 350 games in La Liga and has played over 100 in European competition as Real have dominated in Europe over the last decade.
Way out in front of the all time list is club legend Raul who played 741 times for the club. To break that record Benzema would need to play for Madrid for another five seasons at least which doesn't seem feasible given that he turns 33 in December 2020.
His cause may possibly be helped though by his ongoing exile from the French national team. Despite his incredible form at club level, Benzema hasn't played for his country since 2015.
Whatever happens in the future he remains a vitally important part of manager Zinedine Zidane's current plans and there will be a lot more games for him yet with his manager stating in an interview last season that Benzema was one of the best in the world.
“I know what a player Benzema is, everyone knows it. The number of goals he’s scoring is incredible. Everyone can have their opinion on who is the best number nine in the world and for me it’s Karim. He is confident, he knows you can always improve too, which is great. It doesn’t surprise me what he’s doing.”