Real Madrid forward, Karim Benzema, equalled Paco Gento’s 600 appearances for the club in Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad in the first leg of the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League.
The Frenchman graced the occasion with a brace, taking his tally to 41 goals in 41 games this season – his best goal-scoring season for the Spanish side both in La Liga and Champions League. The two goals against City take his goal tally to 14 in this season’s competition, leapfrogging Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich.
Unlike the Polish attacker, Benzema can add to his goals as Real Madrid are still alive in the competition. They face Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu in the reverse fixture of the tie next Wednesday. If the forward remains consistent, he has a significant chance of being crowned the UCL’s top scorer for the first time in his career, and, hopefully, the Ballon d’Or.
Benzema scored three goals against Paris Saint-Germain to win the round-of-16, another three against Chelsea in the first leg, plus the decisive strike in the second leg of the quarterfinals, and another two on Tuesday against Manchester City beside the five in the group stage.
The former Lyon striker, who’s having his best season so far, becomes the fifth player to score 41 goals in a single season in Los Blancos’ history, behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano and Hugo Sanchez in that order.