Decoding Karim Benzema's stats in the UEFA Champions League
Veteran Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema played a key role in helping the Spanish side win a record-extending 14th UEFA Champions League honor. Benzema was the top scorer in the UCL 2021-22 season with 15 goals. His work during the knockout stages proved to be significant. Benzema has achieved a lot of success in the competition with Real. Here her decode his stats.
Benzema, who won his fifth Champions League trophy, was adjudged Player of the Season. Besides his 15 goals, he also made two assists. Benzema's team-mate Vinicius Jr, who scored the only goal in the final versus Liverpool, has been selected as the tournament's Young Player of the Season. The 21-year-old scored four goals and made six assists in the 2021-22 campaign.
- Benzema's goals turned out to be match-winning ones in the round of 16, quarter-finals, and semis respectively.
- Benzema clocked a joint-record 10 goals in the knockout stage and finished as the top scorer in the 2021-22 season as well.
- He has etched in name in the history books as well by winning five UCL honors.
- His magnificent stats and records deserve to be celebrated.
Benzema is the joint-third highest scorer in Champions League history alongside Robert Lewandowski (86). The veteran forward has netted 86 goals in in 142 appearances in the competition. He is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo (140), and Lionel Messi (125) in terms of goals. Notably, Benzema steered clear of former Real Madrid legend Raul (71) in the 2021-22 season.
Benzema is the second-highest scorer for Real Madrid in the Champions League. He has 74 goals so far for Los Blancos and is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo (105). In the 2021-22 season, he left behind Raul (66). Besides his 74 goals for Real, Benzema had also netted 12 for former side Lyon.
Benzema managed to net seven Champions League goals against English teams this season. As per Opta, this is the most by a player in a single campaign in the competition's history. Benzema netted 10 goals in the Champions League knockout stages this season. It's the joint-most by a player in a single campaign along with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016-17, also for Real Madrid.
The season also saw Benzema becoming just the fourth player to score successive hat-tricks in the UCL. Ronaldo (2016-17), Messi (2016-17), and Luiz Adriano (2014-15) had registered this unique record earlier. Benzema became the first French player to score 10-plus goals in a Champions League campaign (group stage to final). David Trezeguet (2001-02), Ben Yedder (2017-18), and Kylian Mbappe (2020-21) had scored eight goals.
Benzema has four hat-tricks in the Champions League. Interestingly, Benzema is also the first player to score in 18 successive calendar years in the Champions League. He is the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the UCL era as well (34 years, 108 days).
This was the first season Benzema netted 10-plus goals in a a single edition of the Champions League. Prior to this, his best returns in a season was 7 for Real in 2011-12. Notably, he has clocked five-plus goals in a season on 11 occasions.
By netting 15 goals in the 2021-22 season, Benzema equaled the tally of Ronaldo and Lewandowski for joint-third most goals in a Champions League season (15). Ronaldo holds the record with 17 goals in 2013-14 and 16 in 2015-16 for Real.