Benzema scored his second hat-trick in two recent matches, this time leading Real Madrid past Barcelona and into the Copa del Rey final.
This Copa del Rey game is not only a big match between Real Madrid and Barcelona but also a comparison of Benzema vs Lewandowski. Real Madrid has struggled in recent El Clasico matches, losing three times to Barcelona this year alone, including the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal. But in the second leg, they scored four goals at Nou Camp to complete a comeback and book their place in the final against Osasuna.
Karim Benzema and Vinicius are in red-hot form, with the young Brazilian forward scoring the opening goal of the second leg before Benzema netted a hat-trick, two of which were assisted by Vinicius. This was even Benzema’s second consecutive hat-trick in two matches, having scored three goals in just seven minutes in Real Madrid’s 6-0 win over Real Valladolid.
Benzema’s hat-trick in El Clasico against Barcelona helped him break a great record that had existed since 1963, becoming the next Real player to score three goals against Blaugrana.
Looking at the result of the Copa Del Rey semi-final second leg between Barcelona and Real Madrid, no one could have expected that a team on the rise under coach Xavi, playing at the Spotify Camp Nou, could collapse so shamefully against their arch-rivals. The 4-0 loss, including Karim Benzema’s hat trick, will surely make for a sleepless night for Cules.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti was thrilled after the match and said it was the most perfect performance he had seen from his players this season. “We played too well and this is a deserved result. Especially in the second half, we created chances continuously from transitional situations. All aspects of offense and defense were perfect,” he said.
“I can’t say anything more about Benzema, he has always played a decisive role in the fate of the team and today was no exception. Vinicius also played very well and showed that he always has the ability to turn the game around.”
In the past two matches against Valladolid and Barcelona, the former French international has pocketed two world-class hat-tricks.
When asked about the candidates for this year’s Ballon d’Or, the Best European Coach and also Benzema’s coach, Carlo Ancelotti, overlooked Messi’s performance and put his faith in his protégé. He believes it would be a mistake to exclude Benzema from this year’s race.
“His dedication to training and recovery during the international break has helped him tremendously. Benzi is currently in his best physical condition, and with his existing qualities, he’s always ready to make a difference. Not only as a forward, but Benzema is also still one of the best players in the world. Can he win the Ballon d’Or this year? Why not?!” Ancelotti said after the victory over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.
The encouragement from coach Ancelotti will be a big boost for Benzema on his path to winning his second Ballon d’Or. But for now, he will need to maintain his form to lead Real Madrid to the titles of Copa del Rey and the 15th Champions League trophy in their history.
If he can find the same sensational form as last year, Benzema is certainly capable of breaking through in the race for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.
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