With a smirk, the Pole thus reminds everyone of the episode of the 2020 edition where, despite his status as a great favorite, the Bayern Munich center-forward did not manage to win the precious sesame “lack of sufficient fair conditions“according to France Football, all in full management of the health crisis linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Two years later, the Spanish Liga will offer a Real-Barça where Benzema like Lewandowski will have to play a central role, this Sunday from 4:15 p.m. at the Santiago-Bernabéu stadium. From then on, it will no longer be a question of the Ballon d’Or, but of national supremacy.
Since the start of the season, Lewandowski has become the center of attention
In the white corner, a status as top scorer in La Liga 2021-2022 with 27 goals in 32 games and a title of Spanish champion to defend in the jersey of Real. In the blue and garnet corner, a freshly arrived striker in Barcelona, author of a cannonball start to the season with 9 goals in 8 appearances, an average of 1.13 goals per league game.
Presented as such, this face to face Benzema-Lewandowski can be likened to a boxing fight between two titans very regularly compared but never put in competition over a period of 38 days. Sacred Pichichi for the first time in his career last season, Benzema has experienced a slight drop in form since the recovery with 3 goals and 1 assist in La Liga. Inevitably, Lewandowski did not wait for his rival.
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“In Spain, the Ballon d’Or theme has been on the minds of most of the year and the individual prizes are still of particular importance.explains Bruno Alemany, journalist for Cadena SER in Barcelona. In this sense, the press spoke a lot about Benzema during the first part of the year. But since the start of this new season, Lewandowski has become the center of attention thanks to his statistics and his essential role within Barça.
“Of course Benzema is not having a bad start to the season at all, but he is not at the stratospheric level of his last season.he continues. If we talk about the careers of the two footballers, there is debate about who is better. But this season, Lewandowski is above Benzema“And obviously, the opinion that came from Catalonia is also the same elsewhere.”Lewandowski arrives in better shapeconsiders Manolo Martin, Andalusian journalist on Canal Sur Radio. 14 goals in 12 games in all competitions leaves a good overview of his abilities. Benzema is not at his level.”
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Benzema, remember last March 20
The Pole shines more than Benzema against the minor teams of the championship? That is. Nevertheless, a Clasico is rightly considered a match to be placed in a category in its own right. Cameras pointed at the various players, unique atmosphere in a legendary stadium, tension at its peak, regular provocations on and off the lawn… Clearly, the Clasico is a direct way to put a big uppercut in the chin of his historic enemy and at the same time take a significant psychological advantage over the rest of the season.
Held in check by Inter in the Champions League this week despite Lewandowski’s double (3-3), Barça would be well advised to repeat their performance of March 20 on the lawn of the Santiago-Bernabéu (a 0-4 victory ). The goal ? Consolidate its position as leader and find a little serenity when Gerard Piqué is mocked from all sides on social networks. Only concern: during this famous Clasico of March 20 where Barça had caused Real its first (and only) defeat of the season at home in La Liga, Benzema was absent due to injury.
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From then on, KB9 will undoubtedly use the bitter failure of his team to try to set the record straight and show his Polish alter-ego who is the real X factor in Madrid. Manolo Martin:Benzema is quality and elegance but it lacks success in the finish at the moment (silent since August 28, editor’s note). It’s the complete opposite of Lewandowski. Real are very concerned about this state of grace from the Pole.”
For Alemany, “Real Madrid is better prepared collectively before this Clasico, the project is much more mature. That said, Lewandowski seems to me individually above all players in this match so it is likely to see him score in Madrid. But if I had to get wet and give an almost certain scorer for this meeting, I say Benzema. Why ? Quite simply because it will be played in his stadium, he is used to this match and he has his bearings, an advantage on which Lewandowski cannot count. It’s an interesting subject. In fact, I see both scoring!“
Despite Real flirting, a cordial relationship
Benzema-Lewandowski is a confrontation between two top names in their sport. And when the two men are accustomed to award ceremonies at the end of the year, it’s a safe bet that they could have crossed paths and shake hands a good couple of times. In fact, what about their personal relationship? “Benzema and Lewandowski don’t seem to have a very developed relationshipsays Alemany. They know and respect each other, but that’s it.”
“Then Spain also remember that Real Madrid tried to sign Lewandowski (in 2014, Editor’s note) when Benzema wasn’t in top form and didn’t have the status he has todayhe recalls. Overall, Benzema appears to be very discreet and reserved in the locker room, he is not a Neymar. There is a form of admiration towards one and the other because both have managed to become world references in their position..”
Robert Lewandowski (FC Barcelona)
Credit: Getty Images
While waiting for the Haaland-Mbappé duel?
At 34 each, Lewandowski and Benzema seem to be reaching the peak of their respective careers. Will we see a gradual succession thereafter? “Last summer, Haaland was the target of Barça and Mbappé that of Realclarifies Martin. Today, the two clubs will never say that they would exchange but it is clear that Haaland and Mbappé represent perfect heirs to Lewandowski and Benzema.”
For Alemany, time has yet to do its work. “Counting Benzema and Lewandowski among Spanish La Liga players is not to be taken lightlyhe says. Haaland and Mbappé are connecting with younger audiences as much of the new generation identifies with them. That said, Spain are not living in the past with Benzema and Lewandowski. They are two champions and they perform well. Also, their age is not so much of a problem in an environment where physical preparation has become optimal..”
“If you pay attention to your lifestyle, you can last longer. Kipchoge broke the marathon world record at 37… It’s madness, but it happenedhe takes as an example. Benzema and Lewandowski will still be around for a few years. ” Until tomorrow, the present already offers us a dream confrontation. So let’s take advantage of it.
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