Benzema: The Champions League’s fifth great

Karim Benzema is the fifth great of the Champions League. The Real Madrid striker’s goal against Atalanta makes him the fifth player to reach the 70-goal mark in Europe’s premier club competition, a barrier that only Cristiano Ronaldo (134), Lionel Messi (120), Robert Lewandowski (72), and Raul Gonzalez (71) have passed.

Now, after Tuesday night’s goal against Atalanta, Benzema enters that prestigious list.

Benzema is a Champions League legend with his four trophies won and 70 goals, which place him among the top scorers in the competition. It was in the last 16 of the 2004/05 season that Benzema, then playing for Lyon, was seen for the first time in the competition.

At that time, you could not imagine the spectacular history that Benzema would write in the Champions League, 16 years after his first appearance. His first Champions League goal came on December 6, 2005 against Rosenborg. Benzema has played in 16 consecutive Champions League tournaments.

The forward had previously missed three games before Tuesday night, including the first leg against Atalanta after a muscle injury ruled him out. Since his return, Los Blancos have scored six goals and Benzema has four of them. He has already scored 21 goals this season in all competitions, and 78 since Cristiano left the club in 2018.

The spirit of Alfredo Di Stefano continues to accompany Benzema, who has scored almost one goal per game since Real Madrid temporarily left the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for Valdebebas.

Benzema has already scored 18 goals in 21 games at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano across both LaLiga Santander and the Champions League.

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