Euro 2012 Players to Watch: Karim Benzema of France
At the forefront of that successful run has been Karim Benzema. Occasionally the third-choice striker for Real Madrid behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain, Benzema is most certainly a first choice for his country.
Benzema—the 2011 French player of the year—has struck 13 goals in 42 international appearances for France—a statistic that would hardly concern you if you were a rival defender, but his domestic form is a whole different animal.
Benzema finished the 2011/12 season for Real Madrid by scoring 32 goals and notching 15 assists in all competitions—not bad from 52 appearances, and certainly a statistic that would raise some eyebrows.
What To Expect
Karim Benzema paired with Loic Remy was a combination often used in Euro 2012 qualification. Benzema and Remy played in 16 out of a possible 20 matches between them, which is surely a sign that pitch time is assured when the tournament really starts to heat up.
Benzema will be looking to improve on his two qualification goals and offers plenty of strength and power in attack.
With England, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine sharing group D along with France, Les Bleus might fancy their chances of progressing into the last 16 and beyond—meaning Benzema could be hanging around for a while.
What They Say About Him
When it comes to endorsements, perhaps none are as well received as when they come from a former footballing legend.
Benzema has been very important this season for Real. This is the just reward for his talent and character. He scored a lot of goals and was very good in a lot of games. He has been invaluable to his colleagues and we need a player like him. Hopefully he will be important for Les Bleus because they will need him.
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