Analysis: Why Benzema could win Ballon D’Or

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Karim Benzema has established himself as one of the best strikers in the world over the past couple of years, carrying Madrid’s attack since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. In this video, we look at what makes the Frenchman so good.
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Timestamps:
00:00 Introduction
00:16 Strengths Overview
00:22 End Product
01:18 Open Play
01:40 Technique in tight spaces
01:56 Progressive Passing
02:42 Creativity
03:24 Ball Carrying
03:55 Weaknesses Overview
03:59 Weaknesses Overview
04:02 Player Comparison
05:02 Summary
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Transcript:
Karim Benzema has arguably been the most underrated striker in the world since 2018, almost single-handedly carrying Madrid. Let’s analyze his game and see what makes him so good.
Benzema has a well-rounded skillset with five main strengths:
Strengths – Goalscoring
While goalscoring is expected to be a strength of every great striker, Benzema has truly taken it to new levels over the past couple of years, scoring at career-best levels.
After the departure of Ronaldo, Benzema has been Madrid’s alpha and omega in terms of goalscoring. No other elite striker has carried his team the way the Frenchman has.
Benzema has scored 20 league goals in three consecutive seasons for the first time in his career and has started this season on fire, scoring 8 in 7.
Benzema takes plenty of shots, gets into good positions and converts them at a great rate. That’s exactly what’s needed from a striker.
His achievements become even more impressive when looking at Madrid’s team. Benzema is the only world-class attacker they have, with others often injured or too young to be consistent.
Strengths – Open-play involvement
Benzema’s involvement in play is exceptionally unique among forwards, with the Frenchman involved in all of Madrid’s attacks. He is involved in all phases of the game, a trait that makes him very rare.
Benzema’s ability to get involved in attack is very obvious statistically, manifesting in other fields such as passing and carrying as well.
Key to Benzema’s open play prowess is his ability to control the ball even in traffic, a trait that makes him a teammate’s dream. Players often pass the ball to Benzema in difficult positions knowing they won’t be let down.
Strengths – Build-up passing
Benzema is the definition of a modern striker, acting as both as an outlet and a false 9 at the same time. His ability to drop deep and pass is among the best in the world, progressing Madrid up-field consistently.
Benzema’s passing has been at extremely high levels over the last 365 days, with his passing improving with age. It has never been better than now.
Benzema is a number 9 and 10 in one, meaning Madrid do not miss a real number 10. Isco has declined, James has left and Hazard was signed to help Benzema but injuries mean he has not been as good as expected, leaving Benzema to do a lot of the passing work.
Strengths – Creativity
Benzema’s final-ball is equally impressive, mainly due to his technical quality and sense of timing. His creativity is due to his ability to interpret time and space as much as it is down to his quality on the ball.
Benzema’s ability to generate chances ranks among the very best for strikers, both in terms of the quality and quantity.
Benzema’s speed of thinking and the technical cleanness to execute the final ball are two attributes most strikers can’t dream of having. The main reason he doesn’t receive more credit for these factors is because of his low-maintenance personality in the past compared to bigger teammates.
Strengths – Ball-carrying
Benzema’s technical cleanness is also seen in his ball-carrying. He has some of the best link-up play of any striker ever, with his quick feet helping him navigate close spaces with ease.
Benzema is one of the very few strikers comfortable carrying the ball in all phases of play, posting exceptional numbers all across the pitch.
(insert subscribe button and bell icon) For more in-depth analysis like this, don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to Football Per 90. Benzema has a complete skillset, with no holes in his game. There’s nothing to criticize.
How good is he now?
Benzema has a claim to be the best striker in the world along with the likes of Lewandowski, Lukaku, Kane and Haaland. He is different from all of them and no top striker arguably has to bear more of their team’s load.

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