Karim Benzema: Better to Arrive Late Than Never

In French it says; “Mieux vaut arriver tard que jamais”, or "it is better to arrive late than never", and this is exactly what applies to the brilliant French international player Karim Benzema who recently joined the national football team.

The French press has begun to wonder if this is the year that Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema should win the Ballon d'Or, as he is now closer than ever to winning it.

Benzema, 33, is going through the best period of his football career, on both levels, with Real Madrid, Real Madrid, where he is a main element, and the France National Team, in which he became the beating heart after his return.

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The French forward said that he was very happy and proud to win his first title with the national team after triumphing at the 2021 Nations League. Benzema was out of the squad for the 2018 World Cup before finally being brought back into the fold for the delayed European Championships in the summer of 2021.

Benzema also led the French national team's attack line at Euro 2020 and scored 4 goals, but he gave his best performance with his national team in the European Nations League, which led the French press to question whether the next version of the "Ballon d'Or" should be awarded to Les Bleus (The Blues) striker, after being nominated for that award nine times previously.

There is no doubt that the current season is witnessing an extraordinary brilliance from Karim, who is the top scorer in the Spanish League with 9 goals, and was crowned the best player in the competition for the month of September.

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"Anyone who likes football, likes Karim." Those are the words of Zinedine Zidane, uttered back in April when Karim was almost single-handedly carrying an aging Real Madrid team through another season as they adjusted to life without Cristiano Ronaldo.

With Real Madrid, the French striker has been playing on the strings of glory since his joining the team nearly 10 years ago. He set a historic record in the Spanish League with Real Madrid this season after 6 rounds of La Liga, and became the first player in the 21st century to contribute 15 goals with his team, in the first 6 matches of the Spanish League.

Football fans in the world, especially Madridista, like to call Benzema “The Government”, because there is a prevailing belief that the player imposes himself on everyone in the club, and no one can harm him or withdraw his name from the starting lineup despite his modest level in some periods.

Since Benzema joined Real Madrid in 2009, and over the course of 12 years, many great players have left Meringue, such as Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira, and even Cristiano Ronaldo himself, who left during Benzema's era.

What is also exciting about Benzema's career with Real is that he has always been a much-loved and a key player in the era of all the coaches who have gone through the royal club in the last decade, including the shrewd Portuguese Jose Mourinho, Solari, Lopeteguiand Carlo Ancelotti.

He currently enjoys the support and confidence of the most important figures in the Real Madrid entity, led by President Florentino Perez, and his former coach Zinedine Zidane, who said in an interview that Benzema is the best French striker in history, ignoring big stars such as Thierry Henry and Michel Platini.

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Benzema started his career with a local team and then moved to Lyon to achieve several footballing achievements at the national and European levels, where he won the French Championship four times in a row. After this, he moved to Real Madrid to continue his career in winning Spanish and European titles.

His first appearance was in 2004, when he was used as a substitute, and again, thanks to him, Lyon managed to achieve the first division title. He was also a contributor to winning the European Championship when he played in the final against a Norwegian team, and through his distinguished play with the club, Benzema wrote his name in Football history forever.

One of the shocking revelations is that in 2008 Benzema almost moved to Barcelona. He underwent all the necessary medical tests and his talent was not in doubt for the Catalan club, but the club stopped the deal at the last moments, explaining that the player’s surroundings do not match Barcelona’s values. A year later, he moved to Real Madrid and became one of its most prominent players for 7 years.

It is true that Benzema has always been criticized for the fluctuation of his level, and it is true that he is blamed for wasting very important opportunities, but there is a wide category of fans in the world who support him and see him as one of the best strikers in the history of the club, given what he has contributed  to the team, and his great sacrifice for the sake of the team, beside his effective contribution to the crowning of Real Madrid with several titles in the last decade.

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