Karim Benzema maintained his flawless start to the new season with another man-of-the-match performance for Real Madrid against Mallorca on Wednesday — and in the process hit a massive LaLiga milestone.
The 33-year-old striker pitched in with two goals and two assists in a resounding 6-1 victory, a result that saw Los Blancos surge to the top of the table.
Benzema has made a flying start to the 2021-22 campaign, scoring eight goals and providing seven assists; his combined 15 goal involvements represent the best start made by any player after six league games in the 21st century.
Indeed, unbeaten Real have already scored 21 league goals, their biggest haul at this stage since 1987-88 when they mustered 26. Of those 21 goals, Carlo Ancelotti’s talismanic No. 9 has been directly involved in almost three quarters (71%), having either scored and/or assisted at least once in each of his six appearances.
Added to that, Benzema has scored more league goals and registered more assists than any other player across Europe’s “top five” leagues so far this season.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) September 23, 2021
The records don’t stop tumbling there either, with Benzema’s brace against Mallorca seeing him seal his membership to LaLiga’s esteemed and exclusive 200 Goals club.
What’s more, it took him just 389 league appearances to score 200 goals, a ratio of roughly one goal every 1.9 games. An undisputed hotshot.
— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) September 22, 2021
The Real veteran is one of only 10 players to reach a double century in the Spanish top flight, joining the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul in the upper echelons of goal-scoring greatness. But Benzema is the only one of the 10 to never win the Pichichi award (for the Spanish league’s top goal scorer).
1. Lionel Messi — 474 goals/520 apps
2. Cristiano Ronaldo — 311/292
3. Telmo Zarra — 251/278
4. Hugo Sanchez — 234/347
5. Raul Gonzalez — 228/550
6. Alfredo Di Stefano — 227/329
7. Cesar Rodriguez — 223/353
8. Quini — 219/448
9. Pahino — 210/278
10. Karim Benzema — 200/389
While a succession of other headline acts have come and gone at the Bernabeu over the last decade or so, Benzema has quietly sustained an impressive level of consistency throughout.
He’s often been deployed in a supporting role but still managed to play an integral part in many of the club’s modern day successes, often finding himself underrated and undervalued along the way.
To celebrate his 200 LaLiga goals and his overall success at Madrid, here’s a handful of Benzema’s Bernabeu highlights.
Goal No. 50
Benzema has scored a grand total of 287 goals in 566 games in all competitions for Real Madrid since joining from Lyon what seems like a lifetime ago (but was actually only 2009).
He quickly reached his half-century, having played just 106 matches for Los Blancos, with the milestone goal coming as he notched twice in a 5-1 win against Granada in January 2012.
Goal No. 100
It took 210 games for Benzema to reach triple figures, which coincidentally is exactly the same number of matches it took former strike partner Gonzalo Higuain to reach the same milestone.
Goal No. 200
The 200th LaLiga goal might have come this very week, but Benzema reached the mark in all competitions back in 2018 with the first of his two goals against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League.
It had taken just 428 games for the striker to reach his double century, becoming only the seventh Real star to achieve it.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) November 10, 2018
Hat trick in 10-2 win vs. Rayo Vallecano in 2015
This was the first time Los Blancos had reached double figures in a league match for over half a century, since drubbing Elche 11-2 way back in 1960.
Benzema has scored six hat tricks in total for Real, the last of which came as recently as this month’s 5-2 win over Celta Vigo in LaLiga.
Fastest Clasico goal
He also holds the record for the fastest goal ever scored in a La Liga clash between Real and Barca, having rippled the net just 21 seconds into the game at the Bernabeu in December 2011.
Unfortunately, despite the flying start they couldn’t hold onto their lead and eventually lost 3-1 in front of their own fans.
Scoring in the Champions League final
Last but not least, how about scoring on the greatest stage the club game can offer?
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 30, 2019
Hardly the most aesthetically pleasing of goals, but Benzema made sure to pester Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius into making a vital error of judgement that set the wheels in motion for Real to claim their third consecutive Champions League title.