Criticism and Karim Benzema are both very good friends. No matter how well the French striker fares, still, criticism doesn’t seem to leave him. Last season, Benzema had been the hit-man for Zinedine Zidane and in this season he broke the deadlock against Levante and scored the first goal of the season. But before that, he had to digest a lot of harsh words. The critics then discovered that the goal against Levante was Benzema’s 250th goal for the Royal Whites.
A striker with 250 goals for such a legendary football club is a great achievement.
Benzema has become the fifth top scorer in Real Madrid’s history behind Cristiano Ronaldo (451 goals), Raul Gonzalez (323), Alfredo Di Stefano (308), and Carlos Santillana (290).
This is his 12th season at Los Blancos with whom he has already played as many as 517 games, having won 19 titles.
Whenever Real Madrid needed Benzema to step up, he delivered the goods – it has been a thankless job for him.
But Benzema does not regret that.
It has been a long and eventful journey for him in Real Madrid.
Karim Benzema has revealed the struggles of his first season at Real Madrid in an interview published in Marca.
The Frenchman signed for Los Blancos as a 21-year-old from Lyon, moving to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu at the same time as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.
On Wednesday, the striker is the focus of the latest edition of Universo Valdano on Movistar’s #Vamos channel, where he spoke to Jorge Valdano at length.
During the interview, Benzema revealed how he first heard about the interest from Real Madrid while back home in the Bron district of Lyon.
“My friends, family, and agents told me: ‘You have to come home’,” he told Valdano.
“I told them that I couldn’t and they insisted: ‘You have to come, Florentino Perez is here’.
“I didn’t talk much. I just said hello.”
“I opened the door and saw him.”
“I remember what he said to me: ‘Do I have your word?’… and I said: ‘Yes, of course’.”
However, Benzema soon realized that adapting to life in the Spanish capital wasn’t going to be easy.
He fell behind Gonzalo Higuain in the pecking order under Manuel Pellegrini, partly due to what was happening off the field.
“I wasn’t mentally prepared for what Real Madrid means,” Benzema continued.
“The team, the fans, the pressure, the city…”
“I was alone, I didn’t speak Spanish. It was difficult.”
“If you don’t feel good off the pitch, it’s tough on it.”
“That’s what happened to me in my first season.”
Now, Benzema has 250 goals to his name at Real Madrid – the fifth-highest scorer in the club’s history – but he insists it’s not all about finding the net.
“A striker has to know how to do lots of things, not just score goals,” Benzema added.
“I can score goals but, if I don’t touch the ball for 90 minutes, that’s a problem.”