REAL MADRID secured their 34th LaLiga title on Thursday night and Karim Benzema is the man they have to thank the most.
While Los Blancos are traditionally an attacking side packed with star power, the Frenchman has been their only consistent goal-getting force.
Benzema once again bagged a brace as Villarreal were swept aside[/caption]
The 32-year-old has so far enjoyed his joint-second best season in the Spanish top-flight with 21 goals from 36 games.
Real may be used to past heroes such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul beating that tally, but no other forward comes close to Benzema this season.
In fact, he has four more league goals than every other Madrid forward combined.
Vinicius Junior is the next-best striker with three goals, ahead of Gareth Bale, Lucas Vazquez, Luka Jovic, Marco Asensio and Rodrygo Goes with two each.
Eden Hazard, Isco, James Rodriguez and Mariano Diaz all can count just a single goal in LaLiga.
That means the ten most attacking players supplementing Benzema, 11 if you include the goalless Brahim Diaz, have 17 strikes between them – four fewer than the Frenchman.
Benzema should win the Ballon d’Or.”
Such a dominant display has led to suggestions that he won LaLiga on his own although Sergio Ramos chipped in with a very healthy tally of ten goals.
Real president Florentino Perez suggested after the game that Benzema deserves true recognition for his exploits this year.
He said: “Benzema should win the Ballon d’Or. I have not seen any player have as good a year as him.”
Zinedine Zidane added: “In football, everyone can have a say. For me, my players are the best.
“Karim is not only this year, he has done very well for many years.
“The Ballon d’Or is won by only one, and everyone can comment, but for me all my players deserve it.”
Benzema and Co lifted the LaLiga trophy on Thursday night[/caption]
Most read in Football
Not only has Benzema scored plenty of goals, but they have also been of huge importance.
Five of Real’s six goals as they won their last three games were netted by the forward, with Ferland Mendy’s opener versus Granada assisted by him.
Benzema also netted the winner in crucial clashes with Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, as well December’s late equaliser against Valencia.
Madrid will hope he can revive their Champions League campaign when they head to Manchester City for the second leg of their last-16 tie next month.