Real Madrid marksman Karim Benzema has undoubtedly been one of the best footballers to have graced our game in this past year.
The Frenchman has become La Liga’s marquee player according to Marca, filling the void left by Lionel Messi’s departure.
And Madrid end 2021 in pole position to reclaim their league title from Atletico Madrid. They’re eight points clear of second-placed Sevilla, although the Andalusian outfit do have a game in hand.
Madrid’s success is due to the excellence that runs right through the team. Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, David Alaba, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Vinicius have all been truly superb.
But it’s Benzema who’s been the differential player – the Frenchman has scored more goals than anyone this year with 30 to his name. Messi is in second place with 23.
Benzema is also on course to win this season’s Pichichi, the award given to the man who finishes the campaign as top scorer.
He has 15 goals to his name at the midpoint of the season, four more than Real Betis’ Juanmi and five more than Vinicius.
Benzema’s final act of 2021 was to score a brace at San Mames and lead Madrid to a hard-fought 2-1 win over Athletic Club.
He then took a private Boeing 737 to Dubai to celebrate a job well done – and everyone who follows La Liga will agree he earned it.