How Karim Benzema’s UCL record compares to Messi & Ronaldo’s

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Karim Benzema playing for Real Madrid, Lionel Messi for PSG and Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United, all in the 2021-22 Champions League.

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema has been on fire in the 2021-22 Champions League, firing in 12 goals, including four in the dramatic two-legged quarter-final victory over Chelsea. But how does Benzema’s overall Champions League record compare to Lionel Messi’s and Cristiano Ronaldo’s?

Benzema is, on his current form, quite probably the best player in world football. In La Liga this season, he has registered 24 goals and 11 assists and he’s shown similar levels of performance against even tougher opposition in the Champions League.

The France international got a very healthy five goals and one assist in five group stage games before Christmas. But in the knockout rounds, he’s well and truly come alive.

In the round-of-16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid were desperate for a hero having lost the previous game in Paris 1-0. Benzema came good, banging in a hat-trick to send Madrid through.

Benzema followed that up with another hat-trick at Stamford Bridge, making him only the fourth man to score back-to-back Champions League hat-tricks.

In the second leg, he produced once more, again with Madrid on the ropes. Chelsea had opened up a 3-0 lead on the night and looked set to progress to the semi-finals but a Rodrygo goal took the tie to extra time and Benzema capitalised, scoring the header that won the tie in the 96th minute.

When asked about the 34-year-old striker after the Chelsea game at Stamford Bridge, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti said: “He’s better every day, like wine.

“Every day he shows more leadership, he feels more important for this team and this squad. That’s what makes the difference in him. He has a lot more personality.”

Benzema’s form is in contrast to that of his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and former opponent Lionel Messi, who have both struggled this year, at Manchester United and PSG respectively.

But Ronaldo’s and Messi’s current issues take nothing away from what they produced in Europe’s top competition for so many years. It’s no fluke that the pair sit first and second on the all-time Champions League top scorers list with 140 goals for Ronaldo and 125 for Messi.

The question is, how does Benzema’s overall record in the competition – from his early days at Lyon and his years in Madrid – compare to the Champions League records of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, Madrid and Juventus, and of Lionel Messi at Barcelona and PSG.

Karim Benzema

Games: 139
Starts: 120
Sub appearances: 19

Goals: 83
Assists: 28

Penalties scored: 1

Minutes per goal: 122
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 123
Minutes per goal or assist: 91

Trophies: 4 (2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18)

Lyon's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring against Metz. Stade de Gerland, Lyon. April 15, 2008.

READ: Recalling Karim Benzema at Lyon & the thrill of watching a great emerge

Cristiano Ronaldo

Games: 183
Starts: 178
Sub appearances: 5

Goals: 140
Assists: 48

Penalties scored: 19

Minutes per goal: 114
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 132
Minutes per goal or assist: 85

Trophies: 5 (2007-08, 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18)

Lionel Messi

Games: 155
Starts: 142
Sub appearances: 13

Goals: 125
Assists: 40

Penalties scored: 18

Minutes per goal: 103
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 120
Minutes per goal or assist: 78

Trophies: 4 (2005-06, 2009-09, 2010-11, 2014-15)


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