Manchester United’s Karim Benzema debunked the Cristiano Ronaldo myth.

Manchester United's Karim Benzema debunked the Cristiano Ronaldo myth

Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo have each had a memorable 2021/22 season, putting their combined years of experience to good use.
The moment the hearts of Manchester City supporters sank, Karim Benzema set off on his lap of honour.

In the last 16 and the quarter-finals, Real Madrid’s tormentor-in-chief stopped Paris Saint-Germain from winning their first Champions League title and stopped Chelsea from keeping their title. It was very likely that he would have the final say in the semi-final against Pep Guardiola’s team.

As it turned out, this was correct. After Rodrygo scored twice in the second half of Madrid’s last-four match against Manchester City on Wednesday evening, Benzema made sure he stole the show once more by converting a penalty in the first period of extra time to seal Madrid’s place in yet another Champions League final, securing a mouth-watering showdown with Liverpool in the next round.

Because it was the Frenchman’s 43rd goal of a remarkable campaign, coming up with other adjectives to characterize his current exploits is becoming increasingly difficult. Of the 43 goals he has scored, 15 of them have come in the Champions League, illustrating how often he has been Madrid’s knight in shining armor on the way to the finals.

As a result, the 34-year-old Frenchman is now only two goals away from matching the record-breaking tally of 17 goals scored in a single Champions League campaign set by Cristiano Ronaldo. The former Manchester United striker scored 17 goals for Real Madrid during their European campaign in 2014/15, but they were eliminated at the semi-final stage. Benzema will be hoping to help Madrid advance further in the competition later this month, regardless of whether or not he matches or breaks Ronaldo’s record in the process.

On the other hand, regardless of whether Benzema’s Champions League goal total rises or falls on May 28, his form this season has been nothing short of exquisite and amazing. A frontrunner for the Ballon d’Or with 57 goals and assists in all competitions, he has a strong case.

Furthermore, he has assisted Ronaldo in putting to rest the widely held belief that age is nothing more than a number of years. Benzema and Ronaldo, who are both 71 years old, may be forgiven for wanting to begin thinking about their post-football futures. They, on the other hand, continue to enjoy nothing more than scoring goals for Real Madrid and United.

They have now scored 67 goals between them in all competitions this season, demonstrating that they have no intention of hanging up their boots just yet, nor should they be encouraged to do so. Despite the fact that Ronaldo is three years older than Benzema, the two players are both in the latter stages of their decorated careers – but you wouldn’t guess it from looking at them, would you?

While Benzema has been at the pinnacle of his abilities this season, Ronaldo, despite having a disappointing season in a collective sense in his first season back at United, has produced consistently strong performances, all while attempting to dispel the widespread belief that he is ‘the problem’ behind the club’s decline.

I’d be curious to see if folks who claim that Ronaldo is the problem because he has scored 24 goals this season were able to dig a bit deeper and find out what the true problem is. A look at Benzema and Ronaldo’s current form indicates otherwise and dispels the misconception that Manchester United must substantially reduce the age of its forward choices in order to establish a successful team.

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Granted, neither Ronaldo nor Benzema will be able to continue playing indefinitely, but given their wealth of experience and knowledge, it should come as no surprise that they have both had successful seasons in front of goal. The notion that Ronaldo is ‘past his best’ and ‘the problem’ is nonsense, as demonstrated by Benzema’s performance.

The excitement surrounding the futures of players such as Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe is understandable, and the speculation surrounding their futures is permissible; however, the likes of Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo are still doing exactly the same thing as they near the end of their respective careers. They should

be cherished and relished, and the thought that some people would try to place Manchester United’s recent troubles on Ronaldo is nothing more than bizarre and unjustifiable.


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