Karim Benzema will probably lead the road for Real Madrid on Wednesday once they face bitter rivals Barcelona within the second leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal. Los Blancos journey to Camp Nou to tackle the Blaugrana within the fifth assembly between these two all season and this newest does of El Clasico will see one group attain the ultimate.
Real are method off the tempo being set by Barca in La Liga, so Carlo Ancelotti’s males want to beat a 1-0 first leg deficit to have any hope of successful silverware in Spain. Benzema can be key to that. Coming into this midweek encounter, the 35-year-old is eighth for all-time Clasico aim on 13 and is within reach of Madrid legend Raul who sits fourth on the record with 15.
Only Lionel Messi, Alfredo Di Stefano and Cristiano Ronaldo rank greater than that and all are already legendary figures inside this fixture. Two extra objectives in one of many world recreation’s most famous rivalries — now or doubtlessly subsequent season — would see Benzema write his identify within the historical past books.
As a 2009 debutant on this fixture, the previous Olympique Lyonnais man has additionally shared the sector in these matches with a dizzying array of star names. Messi was clearly a fixture from the beginning up till not too long ago whereas Benzema and Ronaldo additionally performed alongside one another for a prolonged time period and loved highlights resembling their 2014 and 2016 success — notably the latter on enemy turf at Camp Nou.
But let’s make a journey down reminiscence lane and chart the appearances which led Benzema to the brink of Clasico historical past and take a look at the remainder of the forged of characters he shared the sector with.
2009: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Few soccer-based lists are full with out the imposing Swede and this one isn’t any exception as he scored the one aim of the sport in a 1-0 La Liga victory with loads of star energy on each side. Thierry Henry and Carles Puyol had been lining up for Barca whereas Real had the likes of Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain. In reality, Sergio Busquets — who might line up for the Catalan giants on Wednesday — was current as Benzema got here off the bench for his Clasico debut 65 minutes in.
2010: Pep Guardiola’s nice Barca
Benzema’s early years in El Clasico had been fairly tough and he didn’t even rating for the primary two within the fixture, however a part of that’s defined by Barca’s utter dominance round this era. A look on the two sides from a 5-0 La Liga thrashing exhibits Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria and Ricardo Carvalho as a few of the Frenchman’s teammates up towards one of many biggest Blaugrana sides in historical past led by Messi who didn’t even do the harm on this present day with David Villa, now-head coach Xavi, and Pedro inflicting distress upon worldwide teammates like Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso.
2011: Benzema’s first Clasico aim
It took over two years for Benzema to lastly rating towards Barca however he did so in a 3-1 defeat which noticed him open the scoring within the first minute, scoring the quickest aim within the historical past of the rivalry. Unfortunately, Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez and Xavi hit again to make sure that Benzema and fellow Frenchman Lassana Diarra had been on the unsuitable finish of the rating line.
2013: Sergio Ramos
Two years later and Benzema scored as soon as in a 2-1 victory over the previous enemy with captain Sergio Ramos getting the late winner at Santiago Bernabeu both facet of a Messi aim. Luka Modric and Alvaro Morata chipped in with the assists because the Frenchman was decisive within the fixture for the primary time.
Later that yr, it completed 2-1 once more as Neymar was on the right track for Barca as they gained in Catalonia with the Brazilian getting an help for Sanchez too. Jese Rodriguez was Real’s unlikely aim supply that day with Benzema approaching for Gareth Bale after the hour mark. A 4-3 Barca win later that season would see a Messi hat-trick cancel out Benzema’s double from Di Maria’s pair of assists.
A 3-1 Real win noticed Neymar’s opener canceled out by Benzema, Ronaldo and Pepe’s aim as Los Merengues swept to victory with the likes of James Rodriguez, Keylor Navas, Isco and Chicharito within the capital membership’s ranks.
2015: Luis Suarez
Barca retooled the next yr and Luis Saurez added chunk to the assault and scored the decisive aim when the 2 sides met at Camp Nou. Benzema assisted Ronaldo equalizer nevertheless it was in the end not sufficient because the Uruguayan noticed to it that the Blaugrana had been victorious 2-1.
2018: Philippe Coutinho
However, Suarez was much more devastating three years later when Barca ran riot and caught 5 objectives previous Thibaut Courtois in a 5-1 thrashing. The South American scored thrice whereas Philippe Coutinho additionally bought in on the act in a fleeting interval because the membership’s new golden boy.
2020: Vincius Junior and Luka Modric
The Brazilian helped Real to a 2-0 win over Barca when he was teed up by Kroos at Santiago Bernabeu however even higher got here at Camp Nou with a 3-1 success. Modric got here off the bench so as to add a aim and it was Ramos’ remaining Clasico aim as Benzema assisted Fede Valverde’s opener towards the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and even USMNT’s Sergino Dest.
2021: Toni Kroos and Sergio Aguero
The German had already been delivering for Real for years by this level however he and Benzema each scored in a 2-1 residence victory. Significantly, the French star had labored his method as much as captaining the facet for this one. Another 2-1 win adopted with former Atletico Madrid rival Sergio Aguero scoring one of many remaining objectives of his profession.
2022: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Robert Lewandowski
A spectacular 4-0 blowout by the hands of Barca noticed Benzema-less Real effectively overwhelmed as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice. However, Benzema was again and skippering the facet to a 3-1 win earlier this season with Aubameyang changed by serial scorer Robert Lewandowski who’s but to open his account within the fixture.
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