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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Karim Benzema’s UCL Hat-Tricks ‘Worth’ $1B Release Clause

  • Karim Benzema became the fourth player ever to score back-to-back Champions League hat-tricks
  • He's leading La Liga in scoring (24), and his 11 UCL strikes are second behind Robert Lewandowski.
UEFA Champions League

Karim Benzema has been hiding in plain sight for most of his prime — which will happen when you’re playing in the shadow of Real Madrid’s all-time leading scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo. 

But the French international became the fourth player to ever score back-to-back Champions League hat-tricks in a 3-1 first-leg quarter-final victory over Chelsea, he’s leading La Liga in scoring (24), and his 11 UCL strikes are second behind Robert Lewandowski.   

With a career campaign for the Spanish giants, the 34-year-old has surely — finally — earned his own share of the spotlight.

  • Benzema has scored 42 goals in his last 42 games, 13 in his last seven, and 10 in his last four.
  • The next-closest scorer in La Liga this season — teammate Vinicius Jr. — is 10 goals behind him.
  • Benzema’s the fourth player in UCL history to reach 80+ goals. 
  • He’s now eight goals away from passing Raul (323) for second-most goals in club history.

After five seasons with hometown club Lyon, Benzema transferred to Real for $41 million in 2009 and signed a two-year extension — with an intentionally exorbitant, $1.2 billion release clause

Real Madrid has a 12-point lead in La Liga over rivals Barcelona and a two-goal lead over the defending UCL champs heading into the second leg.

While a European trophy would spike Benzema’s chances to win the Ballon d’Or, he deserves serious consideration regardless.

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