Football: Benzema, 14 years of good and royal service at Real Madrid

This Sunday, June 4, against Athletic Bilbao, Karim Benzema played his last match with Real Madrid for the last day of the Spanish championship. A 648th match in the jersey of a club where the French striker will remain a legend.

Karim Benzema, the end of the adventure with Real Madrid. REUTERS - JUAN MEDINA

Text by: Ndiasse Sambe Follow


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The announcement of his departure was made on Sunday morning, probably to offer in the afternoon to the public of Santiago-Bernabeau the opportunity to pay tribute one last time to Karim Benzema during the match of the last day against Bilbao. And the 80,000 spectators at the Madrid stadium were not asked for a standing ovation that the French striker will not soon forget. Real Madrid will not forget Karim Benzema. This kid who arrived from his native Lyon in 2009 to conquer the biggest club in the world, like his compatriots who have left their names in the history of the "White House", Raymond Kopa (1956-1959) and Zinedine Zidane (2001-2006). But Karim Benzema has been the greatest of the French at Real Madrid, playing 648 matches for 353 goals, 148 assists, all competitions combined and especially gleaning 25 titles including five Champions Leagues won.

Second top scorer of the club

He will have been the example of the complete striker in the Madrid club, in turn the greatest hope of Real, loyal lieutenant of Cristiano Ronaldo and finally undisputed leader in his last years in Spain, the best of his career. "El Nueve" (the number 9), as he is nicknamed in Spain, leaves Madrid almost at his peak after his last European title, in 2022, opened the doors to the Ballon d'Or, the first for a French player since Zinedine Zidane in 1998.

His last half-hearted season - failure in the C1 semi-finals against Manchester City, currently second place in La Liga - did not have time to erase the trace left by "KB9" in recent months, in the wake of a heroic European campaign, last year. With 15 goals scored in this edition, he will remain the man of the 14th title of Madrid.

Having become captain, the French international will take control of Real's attacking game once CR7 is gone in 2018. He remains, behind his former teammate, the second highest scorer in the history of the club, with 353 goals.

This Sunday, Karim Benzema definitively closed the chapter of his history with Real Madrid, leaving fans a souvenir album of 14 beautiful years.

👏 ✖ @Benzema #Madridistas 👏

— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) June 4, 2023

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