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Benzema 2022, an exceptional vintage: another hat-trick in the Champions League against Chelsea

Twice a hat-trick, at Real it’s “Nueve”! Karim Benzema scored three goals to defeat defending champion Chelsea (3-1) on Wednesday April 6 in the Champions League, a huge performance that makes the Real Madrid star a candidate for the Ballon d’Or.

He already stole the show from Kylian Mbappé in the previous round, with a hat-trick that eliminated Paris SG. This time, he shone in the garden of the winner of the 2021 edition, among helpless supporters.

At Stamford Bridge, the former Lyonnais pulled off a new “hat trick” (21st, 24th, 46th) which allowed his team to take a big step towards the semi-finals, before the return match on Tuesday. The N°9 first hit with the head, twice, on the reception of crosses signed, respectively, by Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric.

He needed less than a minute in the second half to plant the third, taking advantage of a huge mistake from goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, reminiscent of that committed by Parisian Gianluigi Donnarumma.

[ud83dudcfa RÉSUMÉ VIDÉO] ud83cudfc6 #UCL #CHERMA
ud83dudd25ud83dudd25ud83dudd25 Karim Benzema 3, Chelsea 1 !!! What a performance from Nueve who scored another hat-trick to give victory to Real Madrid!
ud83dudc49 Havertz reduced the mark and allows the Blues to hope for the feat at the Bernabéu!https://t.co/lBWnSnWng3

— beIN SPORTS (@beinsports_FR) April 6, 2022

The fourth escaped him for a few centimeters, his shot licking the right post of the Senegalese goalkeeper (42nd). The performance is exceptional, but not unexpected, as the 34-year-old striker has multiplied his prowess in recent months. He has scored 13 goals in his last seven club matches.

He has 37 goals this season, his highest tally since joining Madrid (13 seasons), ahead of his 32 goals scored in 2011-12. In C1, it is 11, the highest total for a Frenchman since Just Fontaine in 1958/59, noticed the statistician Opta.

“I said two years ago that he was probably the most underrated player in world football, that may not be the case anymore,” the coach said on Tuesday. Blues” Thomas Tuchel. Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is more direct: “Karim is the best striker in the world.”

Ronaldo, Messi and Lewandowski in front of him

With four hat-tricks in the premier competition, including two consecutive ones, Benzema is only beaten by Cristiano Ronaldo (8), Lionel Messi (8) and Robert Lewandowski (5). But limiting the attacker’s influence to these figures would be too simplistic, because the player goes beyond the status of a simple provider of goals.

The Real captain has matured, as Tuchel noticed. “The way he has assumed his responsibilities, the essential role he plays as captain now, it’s very impressive,” said the Swabian technician.

The defeat against FC Barcelona (4-0) before the international break, without the “Nueve”, injured in a calf, reminded us that Real was no longer the same team when the Frenchman was in the infirmary. The top scorer in La Liga (24 goals), and best provider in the Spanish Championship (11 assists), can send Real to the roof of Europe if he stays in such physical shape.

Its ceiling seems so high. With the upcoming World Cup in Qatar (November 21-December 18), and the hypothetical arrival of Kylian Mbappé at the Merengue club, who is courting the PSG striker at the end of his contract this summer, the “Gone” still has so many opportunities to shine! Even the Ballon d’Or?

“It’s a goal,” he said in an interview with the sports daily L’Equipe published on Tuesday. It is a motivation, but not only personal. I include the team. Because if I manage to lead my team to win trophies, there will inevitably be individual awards behind it.”

“Show that we are Real Madrid”

“These are magical nights, like the one against Paris SG at the Bernabéu (in the round of 16 second leg, 3-1). We came to win, to show that we are Real Madrid. Things went well for us. , from the first to the last minute.”

“When we have a Real like tonight, it’s easier for us. (His goals) They are all important goals. I’m happier to have put the third, because I missed one in the first half , and I was still thinking about this missed opportunity. We will do everything to win the return match which will be very important.”

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