Champions League: Benzema could become first French top scorer in a season

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The author of a double with Real Madrid, which lost against Manchester City (4-3) in the first leg of this Tuesday’s semi-final, Karim Benzema is on track to finish this season as the top scorer in the Champions League. A first for a French.

It is the season of all records for Karim Benzema. Despite Real Madrid’s loss against Manchester City (4-3) in the semi-finals of the Champions League first leg on Tuesday, the two-time goalscorer continued to add to his overall achievements in the competition. This season, he has scored 14 goals, which puts him in an ideal position to finish as the top scorer of this 2021-2022 campaign. This would be the first time in modern history for a Frenchman.

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Barring any unlikely scenario, only one person is still a threat to Benzema’s leadership in this scoreless ranking: Mohamed Salah. The Liverpool striker, who finds Villarreal in Wednesday’s semi-final, has eight goals this season but will have to fuel up to recoup his payoff. The current KB9 Dolphins in the standings is still Robert Lewandowski with 13 goals, but pole is no longer a threat as he finished in the quarter with Bayern Munich.

Papin top scorer three times before improving

No Frenchman has finished the Champions League top scorer since the introduction of the new formula in 1992-1993, even though Kylian Mbappe finished runner-up to Erling Haaland the previous year. Before C1’s improvement, however, this happened several times. Jean-Pierre Papin was notably Best Director for three consecutive seasons in 1990, 1991 and 1992, as were Michel Platini (1985), Jean-Marc Ferreri (1988) and Just Fontaine (1959).

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During the match against Citizens, Benzema again displayed a cold realism. He scored his first goal with a volley at the entrance of the field (33rd, 2–1) while his team dominated. He then converted the penalty with a clever panenka (4-3, 81st) to keep his men alive before the return match.

Corentin Parboud The Indian Paper Journalist

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