The Frenchman is well and truly etching his name into the club’s history books with an impressive goal haul
Karim Benzema never imagined he would be among Real Madrid’s top five goalscorers after surpassing Ferenc Puskas on Thursday.
The striker scored a brace as Madrid moved back within two points of rivals and La Liga leaders Barcelona with a 3-0 win over Valencia.
Benzema moved past Puskas (242 goals) and into fifth on Madrid’s all-time list with 243, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (451), Raul (323), Alfredo Di Stefano (308) and Santillana (290).
The Frenchman, who arrived at Madrid from Lyon in 2009, was happy with his achievement.
“I didn’t imagine anything like this, I’m very happy. I’ve been working for a long time now and I always put it in to keep improving,” Benzema said, via the club’s website.
“I hope I can keep going. I’m very happy to be playing for this club.”
Benzema’s second goal was spectacular as he controlled a Marco Asensio pass brilliantly before unleashing a volley past Valencia goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
The 32-year-old said everything moved so quickly as he scored to make it 3-0, before Lee Kang-in was later sent off for Valencia.
“It wasn’t an easy game due to the opposition who made it hard, but we won and didn’t concede,” Benzema said.
“It’s very important because Valencia are a very good team. For the second goal everything happened so fast.
“It was a cross from Marco, I control it, I shot with the left foot and it went in. It looks easy, but you have to do it so fast.”
Benzema has scored 21 goals in 38 games this season, with Madrid back in action against Real Sociedad on Sunday. Benzema is also now only the fourth player in Madrid’s history to have hit 20-plus goals in eight or more seasons.
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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane singled out both Benzema and Eden Hazard for praise following the important victory over Valencia which keeps them within touching distance of Barcelona.
“It was a great goal, for the move and the finish – I’m delighted for Karim’s goals,” Zidane said.
“This was a really good game from Hazard. Physically, he was good and played 80 minutes. Sometimes you might think he’s starting to look tired, but then he picks up the ball and sprints away.”