Karim Benzema has thrived at Real Madrid since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club.
It’s not often players improve when one of the world’s best footballers leaves their club – but Benzema did – evidenced by his stunning Champions League hat-trick against Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Since Ronaldo left Madrid for Juventus in 2018, Benzema has found the net 124 times for his club, beating the Portuguese’s 119 for Juventus and Man United since leaving Real.
He also managed to pull off a feat that only Ronaldo and two others have achieved after his hat-trick at Stamford Bridge.
He became the fourth player to score consecutive hat-tricks in the Champions League, after former team-mate Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano.
The former Lyonnais is enjoying the most prolific campaign of his career so far, scoring 37 goals in 36 games this season.
And former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand has said he will be shocked if the centre-forward doesn’t win the Ballon d’Or at the end of the year.
“Karim Benzema, if they don’t engrave his name on the Ballon d’Or, I would be surprised,” he told BT Sport.
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“He was magical. In the last meeting, he was magnificent and scored a hat-trick. Tonight he did the same and scored another hat-trick.
“This man made the difference. Yes, they understood their tactics well with Vinicius [Junior] right and pinning [Andreas] Christensen back.
“But, he put the odds aside as they came and dispatched them beautifully. What a master class.
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