Real Madrid will be OK without Karim Benzema For a Few Games
Real Madrid’s debut in the 2022/23 Champions League went fairly well, registering a 3-0 victory over the reigning Scottish champions, Celtic, in Glasgow, Scotland. However, well before the game’s first goal, star striker and presumptive Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema was subbed off because of an injury at the half-hour mark. Initially, the outlook was grim, but I don’t think we need to be afraid of being sans Benzema, because it looks like Eden Hazard, after such a long time of languishing on and off doctor’s tables, will be able to handle the responsibility just fine.
In sixty minutes’ playing time, Hazard made the pass that led to an assist for the first goal, assisted the second, and scored the third. In other words, he had a hand in all three goals of the match, despite not playing over 30% of it. Am I saying that Eden Hazard, perhaps the best Belgian player ever, is fully back after three years wasted to injury troubles? No. But I am saying that Eden Hazard definitely looked like the player who was in the “best in the world” conversation for the better part of a decade at Celtic Park.
Now comes the news that Karim Benzema has bursitis in his knee and will be out about two weeks (other reports say four, but the team says two). We could throw our arms up in exasperation and complain about how the club neglected to sign a backup striker over the summer to prepare for a situation like this. We could also start writing off the next few games because the leader of the team won’t be there. I will be doing neither. I think that Eden Hazard, supported by Rodrygo, is more than capable of filling in for Karim Benzema. After all, they both play a free-roaming, false-9 style, the only difference is that Hazard doesn’t have the same experience as an out-and-out striker that Benzema does.
Nevertheless, the media will be forecasting Real Madrid’s downfall until Benzema returns to rescue the team. I’d say not to listen to them. They’re just going to be fearmongering and getting madridistas all bothered. I’m not saying that Eden Hazard will replace Karim Benzema. No one’s replacing the surefire 2022 Ballon d’Or winner. But Hazard will do just fine holding up the mantle until he returns.