An era is leaving with Benzema


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For many years, the central axis most of all determined the face of the team – Sergio Ramos, Rafael Varane, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema. The unique team loses the fundamental elements, but definitely retains the traditional features. As long as it saves!

I’m afraid that Benzema will be the detail that will finally force the club to change, and us to admit that this is already a different Real Madrid.

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First, being an element of the original central axis, Karim organized a mega-productive bond with the new leader Vinicius Junior. He binds generations more than anyone else. Not only figuratively, but also literally: his work on the football field is to appear in arbitrary zones and give this very connection.

Secondly, in modern football there are no alternatives to Benzema at all. He is the very part that is simply impossible to replace without restructuring all the mechanisms.

Who will come?

Rodrigo replaced him situationally for the season – worthy for the second option for the position, but he cannot start combinations and play with his back to the goal at the level of Karim, which even Carlo Ancelotti admitted.

Roberto Firmino is a popular rumor that was born even before the departure of Karim Benzema. The Brazilian could be the perfect replacement. He is able to link the game in a similar manner and moves very smartly. But it is also hardly suitable for the role of the main one, since it will not give the performance that the Frenchman comes with indirect benefits.

Harry Kane is the current favorite for the vacant seat. The chances of a move to Madrid increased dramatically after the official announcement of Benzema’s departure. Top option for almost any team, but for building a different football, and not continuing the current path. Kane has grown a lot outside the box in recent years, but his style is very different from Benzema’s. Kane goes down to the support (or even deeper), from where he deploys an attack with a sharp pass (or directly creates). This is a very useful bonus for a football player who gives 30+ goals in a season, but something else is important to preserve the identity of Real Madrid – the connection of lines and subtle combinations.


You can analyze the options for a long time, but the essence does not change. Real Madrid will either become noticeably worse within the framework of the old identity, or will be forced to build a new one around a figure of a different type. It will probably be less subtle and improvisational. The Frenchman gave these qualities to the Madrid attack for many years.

Given the uniqueness of key stars, a change of course is a smart move. Similar things would have to be written about Modric if he had left first. It also seems too unique. There are still players of the Kroos type in football, but they are all worse.

It seems that Benzema is leaving Real Madrid too soon. Contrary to superficial criticism, he shows no real signs of regression. Yes, for the first time in five years, sales sag, but this value fluctuates for all players and is very indirectly related to the level. In terms of the threat to other people’s goals, the number of chances is much more significant – it has only increased (0.95 against 0.82 xG / 90 last season).

If we move away from advanced metrics and look at performance, then it is in huge order – 0.84 goals per 90 minutes. Of course, worse than in the Ballon d’Or season (here it must be understood that the season itself is an extreme, not a starting point), but better than in 10 of the 14 other seasons of the Frenchman at the club. Definitely not an indication of a debilitated veteran.


Florentino Perez has always appreciated Benzema and understood perfectly what his true benefits are. Once the Frenchman stayed at the club after a season with 5 goals (2 of them from penalties) in a season in La Liga. And then he proved everything to everyone.

Benzema’s signature features are still with him. Ancelotti’s favorite coach is at the club. Kroos and Modric stay. I don’t understand why Karim shouldn’t play more. Ideally, these decisions should be more synchronized. But long-term planning is a topic for another conversation. For now, let’s just chill.

An era is passing. A big total football player who was also a big scorer (the second in the history of Madrid). Big scorers are replaceable. Big players – no.

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