Age is Just a number – The legend of King Karim of Madrid

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In this year’s UEFA champions league, European giants PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City have had one thing in common – encountering Real Madrid along their way. The Los merengues have surmounted these behemoths of football clubs. We witnessed yet another goal-scoring masterclass across these fixtures from an evergreen poacher. He was one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s collaborators in the lethal attack that scored goals for joy during Real Madrid’s three consecutive Champions League triumphs between 2016 and 2018. He had to make many sacrifices and work selflessly on the field to serve one of the world’s top players.

By the year 2018, Ronaldo’s chapter had come to a close. In Madrid, it was time for a new King to take over the throne. And boy, do we have a fitting replacement in the form of ‘King Karim.’ He scored 21 goals to lead Los Merengues to the La Liga title in the 2019/2020 season. Since then, he has continued to evolve with each passing season. From a selfless leader to a deft hunter. He has scored 20 goals or more in each of the last four seasons. The main key for Madrid’s knight in gleaming white armour is consistency. That, he has done well over the years and even in the departures of Raul Gonzalez, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Klass Jan Huntelaar, and even temporary recruitments such as Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor and Javi Hernandez Chicharito. The 2009 acquisition has held his own in a very demanding and sometimes, unforgiveable atmosphere in the Spanish capital. 

Benzema is currently second on the club’s all-time scoring record, tied with Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez with 323 goals, trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo. He decimated Chelsea with a magnificent hattrick and became the only player in Champions League history to score three goals against the current Champions League holders. It didn’t end there. His total contribution to the team, enroute to the final should be commended, as the perennial Champions League winners snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat against English Champions, Manchester City. In those six ties against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City, he bagged a phenomenal 10 goals. Enjoying his best-ever campaign in front of goal, ‘King Karim,’ became only the 4th player to score back-to-back hattricks in the history of the Champions League. Joining the illustrious club of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Luiz Adraino.

Next on his mission, after the Champions League Final in Paris, will be to play a key role in helping Les Bleus achieve the unthinkable and retain their World Cup crown in Qatar. He will turn 35 in December, and with his current form, you can’t say he won’t continue to make strides and set new milestones.

Age is nothing more than a number. Allowing your age to define you and limit your ability to attain your goals is a blunder. It is never too late to set the world ablaze with your talents, as the in-form striker in the Champions League proved recently. Bring on Liverpool!!!

By Kwesi Gyasi Otoo (@kwesi_lazintus)

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