Comparing Karim Benzema’s record with Cristiano Ronaldo’s since 2018

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Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring against Paris Saint Germain at the Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid, March 2022.

Karim Benzema has aged magnificently and continues to bang in the goals for Real Madrid – but how do his numbers compare to former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo since the latter’s departure from the Bernabeu in 2018?

Former Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka explained how Karim Benzema emerged from Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow to become the club’s natural leader.

“Karim is a real character – he is a little bit shy and sometimes you do not realise that he is there,” Karanka told the Daily Mirror. “He will be thinking of himself, but not in a selfish way, but in terms of how he can improve.

“He was criticised a lot when he was young that he did not score enough goals and he had a lot of pressure – plus he was playing alongside Cristiano.

“The key moment for Karim was when Cristiano left. His body language can fool you when you do not know him, but I knew that he would replace Cristiano as the leader of that team. He has aged like a fine wine.

“His presence alone on the pitch is important for his teammates and he can win any individual award.”

We’ve crunched the numbers and compared Benzema’s Real Madrid and France record with Ronaldo’s stats for Juventus, Manchester United and Portugal since the start of the 2018-19 season.

Karim Benzema

Games: 194
Starts: 185
Sub Appearances: 9

Goals: 128
Assists: 46

Penalties scored: 17

Minutes per goal: 125.1
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 144.3
Minutes per goal or assist: 92.0

Trophies Won: 5 (La Liga, Supercopa de Espana x2, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Nations League)

Individual Awards: 12 (2021 French Footballer of the Year, 2020-21 Onze d’Or, 2021 AS Award Best Player of the Year, 2019-20 La Liga Player of the Year, 2019-20 Trofeo Alfredo Di Stefano, 2018-19 & 2019-20 Real Madrid Player of the Year, 2018-19, 2019-20 & 2020-21 La Liga Team of the Season, 2020 & 2021 L’Equipe Team of the Year)

Cristiano Ronaldo

Games: 198
Starts: 188
Sub Appearances: 10

Goals: 148
Assists: 28

Penalties scored: 39

Minutes per goal: 113.7
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 154.4
Minutes per goal or assist: 95.6

Trophies Won: 6 (Serie A x2, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana x2, UEFA Nations League)

Individual Awards: 5 (2019 Portuguese Player of the Year, 2019 & 2020 Serie A Footballer of the Year, 2020-21 Capocannoniere, 2021 FIFA The Best Special Award)

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