Comparing Benzema’s start to 2021-22 to Messi’s best season at Barca

Quick Reads
Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi during El Clasico in 2019.

Since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid, Karim Benzema has become the main man in the attacking line and he is taking that role seriously in 2020-21, having started the season like a house on fire.

Not only has he been finding the net with alamring frequency in the 11 games he’s played so far, he has been Los Blancos’ chief creator too, at times winning games almost single-handedly.

But how does Benzema’s start to the 2020-21 campaign compare to Lionel Messi’s start in 2011-12, which was statistically the best campaign of his glorious spell at Barcelona?

That season, Messi went on to score 50 times in La Liga and 73 in total, but here, we’re purely focusing on comparing his early-season form and how it matches up to his former rival Benzema.

Note: stats are taken from FBref and MessiStats for the first 11 La Liga and Champions League games each player played for their respective clubs, not the first 11 games the club played.

Karim Benzema – 2020-21

Games: 11
Starts: 11
Minutes: 977

Goals: 11
Penalty goals: 2
Assists: 7

Minutes per goal: 88.8
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 108.6
Minutes per goal or assist: 54.3

Real Madrid and France striker Karim Benzema

READ: Karim Benzema is the world’s best player: Just look at this turn & finish

Lionel Messi – 2011-12

Games: 11
Starts: 10
Minutes: 930

Goals: 12
Penalty goals: 0
Assists: 7

Minutes per goal: 77.5
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 77.5
Minutes per goal or assist: 48.9

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