"Le nouveau phénomène". - Karim Benzema

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Post by shaven on Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:47 am


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Post by Kuru on Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:48 pm

@shaven wrote:
omarish wrote:Özils body has also looked better. Mou is giving them a really nice training schedule

i like how you type ozil's name here

btw he is muslim right ? same with benz.. so he aint eating and drinking anything right now?

He's only not allowed to eat from approximately 5:30AM 9:20PM, not the whole day, with most games being in Spain played after 9PM, I don't think that it would cause lots of problems for Ozil, Benz, Khedaira, Shahin, Altintop and Lass. xD

Ozil even says he somehow plays better and feels fitter in Ramadan...though I don't know how. Razz
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Post by Zealous on Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:19 pm

I know why. When you are fasting you feel lighter, leaner. The only problem is thirst. But since games in Spain are at night anyway that's not a problem.

I'd suggest non-Muslims try fasting for a day. It's a good feeling.

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Post by ÖMARz on Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:29 am

http://www.theage.com.au/sport/soccer/fat-chance-20110805-1ifju.html

An article written by an australian paper.

Yes, that means that alot of it may happen to be a load of crap however i just read it and it happens to provide a lil more insight into benzema and his weightloss & muscle gaining regime which zidane has introduced him too.

Good read if you want to kill time..

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Post by Kuru on Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:10 am

@Zealous wrote:I know why. When you are fasting you feel lighter, leaner. The only problem is thirst. But since games in Spain are at night anyway that's not a problem.

I'd suggest non-Muslims try fasting for a day. It's a good feeling.

Maybe because my body build is lean, if I don't eat every 3 hours I loose weight, and I'm a sucker for water, I drink almost one glass every hour, so for me, I can't imagine how I can fast, AND play better.
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Post by Margera on Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:38 am

@ÖMARz wrote:http://www.theage.com.au/sport/soccer/fat-chance-20110805-1ifju.html

An article written by an australian paper.

Yes, that means that alot of it may happen to be a load of crap however i just read it and it happens to provide a lil more insight into benzema and his weightloss & muscle gaining regime which zidane has introduced him too.

Good read if you want to kill time..

it was a good read, thanks Smile
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Post by Guest on Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:37 pm

If Karim stays healthy, he will have 35 goals and 15 assists this season. I'm going on record. His speed may be down a bit... but i've never see him in this kind of shape and confidence.

He's only 23 too. Break out year.

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Post by H.A. on Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:44 pm

I don't think he'll need his speed as his positioning has been great, always at the right place when you need him.

If this continues on then I'm glad we didn't sell him for aguero Very Happy

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Post by Zealous on Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:28 pm

BTW his "I now work hard in training" comment has not gone down well with old school fans in Spain.

There's a sense of "about effing time" being given. There is pressure on him to preform now.

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Post by Guest on Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:34 pm

@Zealous wrote:BTW his "I now work hard in training" comment has not gone down well with old school fans in Spain.

There's a sense of "about effing time" being given. There is pressure on him to preform now.

Oh please. You want me to go down the list of partying or lazy Spanish players? It's a long, long one. Doesn't excuse it. But it's not like he's part of a small group before... Rather large one actually.

As long as you perform, nobody cares. But Benz wasn't performing and it was an issue.

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Post by Zealous on Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:45 pm

Small or large he's still part of it. The expectation is unanimous now. Whether or not it's warranted is very debatable but there is a sense of

"OK, you look like you are in good shape, shape you should have been in two years ago. No more excuses put up or shut up."

Harsh but that so I've been told is the feeling in Spain right now.

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Post by Guest on Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:49 pm

26 goals and nine assists in a half season wasn't too bad last year. He's already performed. Now, it's whether he can reach top 5 world status or not. If healthy and played regularly, he will always do well.. But can he reach his talent's peak? We'll see.

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Post by Zealous on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:13 pm

That's the thing though, if you score 26 goals and 9 assists and nobody really feels their weight, did they really happen? Many would trade half those "weightless" goals for one goal that really helped the team. If that were the case less people would be on his case IMO.

The problem is Benzema has yet to have a defining moment with us. Aside from his goal against Seville in the Copa semi he has been a spectator to what's happened around him. If he stopped playing for us tomorrow he'd be forgotten (pretty quickly as well). He has to step up and the Super Cup is his best chance to start erasing the "sulky kid" image he has among old school fans (including me Razz)

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Post by Guest on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:19 pm

@Zealous wrote:That's the thing though, if you score 26 goals and 9 assists and nobody really feels their weight, did they really happen? Many would trade half those "weightless" goals for one goal that really helped the team. If that were the case less people would be on his case IMO.

The problem is Benzema has yet to have a defining moment with us. Aside from his goal against Seville in the Copa semi he has been a spectator to what's happened around him. If he stopped playing for us tomorrow he'd be forgotten (pretty quickly as well). He has to step up and the Super Cup is his best chance to start erasing the "sulky kid" image he has among old school fans (including me Razz)

Weightless??? come on Z. You can't be serious. He carried us when CR7s form was down and he was injured for a bit (all of March). There was nothing weightless about that. He also was the defining player in the two ties against Lyon. It's not his fault that Mou decided Ade was a better "strategic" choice against Barca (wtf was that about). He performed like a champ in every game he participated in starting in mid Feb.

You can only have a defining moment if the manager allows you to play. If he had played and missed his opportunity, that would be one thing. But he's had a good season given all the adversity. Very good in fact.

Under your definition, CR7 didn't have his defining moment with us until we won the CDR. He actually got lucky there because he was very wasteful. In fact, nobody has had a defining moment the past two years unless they contributed in the CDR. We've just been starved of defining moments lol.

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Post by The Madrid One on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:35 pm

defining moment is an excuse.
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Post by Zealous on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:40 pm

My point is that Benzema didn't really make a stamp. I'm not talking about hat tricks against Levante or Auxerre. Whether it's his fault he didn't even get to play the glory games or not is debatable (I personally think he wasn't treated to unfairly TBH and his injury was bad timing at it's finest) but the heat is piling up on him.

Ronaldo is breaking records and he actually did have his first glory moment with us.

Again the Super cup can go a long way to helping erase his current (undeserved?) image.

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Post by Guest on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:47 pm

Not the supercup imo. The way we line up and play Barca is basically a fail recipe for any CF, whether it's Benz, Higuain, Ade, etc. They're way too isolated. My theory is that whoever plays the last 30 mins of the game has the best chance to score as a CF because a) barca has made some subs and b) they're a little tired and, thus, their pressing is less intense.

I'm almost of the opinion that you play Ozil, Di Maria and CR7 until the 60th min, and then you bring a CF. Waste of time before then.

And, dude, do you seriously think that playing Ade was ever a good idea.

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Post by S32TABLANCA on Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:07 pm

Benz will score 30 goals and make 10 assists if he remains healthy and keeps up this form. You have to understand that injuries, rotation, tactical decisions, loss of form will happen and we have Ronaldo and Higuain in the team too so he isnt gonna be top scorer any time soon. But he is on blistering form right now.
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Post by Zealous on Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:59 pm

Playing Ade was never a good Idea Sport. pale

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Post by H.A. on Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:29 am

Here's a good article that talks about benzema from RealMadridFootballBlog.com:

realmadridfootballblog.com/2011/08/guest-post-the-evolution-of-benzema/

Continuing on with the recent series of guest posts, we have another excellent article, this time for reader Rahul, who operates his own Rahul was kind enough to share his latest article on Karim Benzema, and why this may be the year Benzema finally breaks out to become the top class striker many of us believe he can become. Without much more ado, enjoy the article and leave your comments for Rahul and the RMFB team below:

Cast your minds back to that heady summer of 2009, which marked the return of Florentino Perez and heralded the collection of a new generation of Galacticos, conveniently labelled the “neo-Galacticos” by the ever-creative football press. Any other year, the signing of Xabi Alonso for 35 million euros would have been the major talking point, but the summer of 2009 was anything but an ordinary transfer window for Real Madrid, what with the successive transfer fee record-breaking signings of Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 2007 and 2008 FIFA World Players of the Year had been persistently targeted by the club since the tenure of Ramon Calderon, who even brashly claimed much of the credit for laying the groundwork for the two mega-transfers. However, the one megastar that Calderon – as well as Perez after him – wanted but didn’t get was David Villa. A prolific and frighteningly consistent goalscorer for Los Che, Villa came within inches of signing for Real Madrid during that summer; indeed but for a roughly 10 million euro difference in his valuation by the two clubs, Villa would have been donning the white of Real Madrid and we would have had no reason to talk about the player Perez signed instead – Karim Benzema.

While the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka were heralded by Madridistas worldwide, it was in many ways the transfer of the French phenom Benzema that truly captured our imagination. After all, we had a pretty good idea of what Kaká and CR7 would bring to Real Madrid. Kaká – he of the dynamic, slaloming runs and the unique combination of physique and Samba flair; and Cristiano Ronaldo, the outrageously gifted dribbler, taker of astounding free-kicks and goalscorer extraordinaire. But Benzema, despite establishing himself as one of European football’s brightest prospects, still brought with him a hint of the unknown, evoking the kind of excitement that only a young signing can. I personally hadn’t been that enthused over a transfer since the signing of Sergio “drop it like it’s hot” Ramos in 2005.

Back in the 2007-08 season, a 19-year old Benzema registered a whopping 31 goals and 8 assists in 52 games for a Lyon side that was expected to struggle following the departure of attacking stalwarts Florent Malouda, John Carew and Sylvain Wiltord. The following season was not as productive for Benzema as he scored 23 times in 48 games, but he had done enough to make the football world sit up and take notice of his talents. All of France heralded Benzema as the next big phenomenon in world football. We were told that he was the next Ronaldo (R9). When it was announced that he would be joining Real Madrid, many observers and pundits were certain that he would walk straight into Madrid’s line-up, displacing Gonzalo Higuain and assuming the centre-forward role in the fantasy football team gifted to Manuel Pellegrini.

However, Benzema took a while to come to grips with the transition from Ligue 1 to the more demanding environs of La Liga, while the language barrier clearly affected his ability to communicate with his teammates on the pitch. While he showed glimpses of smoothness and undoubted class on the ball, he was often caught in two minds in and around the penalty box area, an area of the pitch that he had made his own while at Lyon. Injury problems only made things more difficult for the Frenchman, who only managed 8 goals in all competitions. However, despite the disappointing return, most Madridistas were willing to give Benzema another season to prove himself. After all, it couldn’t have been easy for a 21-year old leaving his family and hometown club for the first time in his life to arrive in a strange new country where he didn’t have friends and didn’t speak the language. The stresses and strains of Benzema’s life situation were bound to be reflected in his play. But there could be no excuses next season.

The 2010-11 season began inauspiciously for Benzema, as Mourinho made it clear that Higuain was his first-choice striker. When given playing time to prove himself, Benzema never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. His performances continued to underwhelm, much to the frustration of the fans, coach and president. Even his teammates were unimpressed, with Kaká coming out to say that Benzema needed to apply himself more. He could no longer use “adjustment” as an excuse, especially when someone like Mesut Özil, who was new to the league and didn’t speak Spanish, was having such an outstanding debut season. Benzema’s low work-rate, poor tactical awareness and reluctance to get involved in build-up play were all pinpointed as major causes for concern.

In late November, Higuain suffered a serious back injury, forcing Mourinho to thrust the out-of-sorts Benzema into the first team out of necessity rather than trust. Quizzed about how Madrid would cope without the services of the reliable Higuain, Mourinho pulled out this now-epic reply: “you hunt better with a dog than with a cat, but if you don’t have a dog, you’re better off hunting with a cat than not hunting at all”. While Mourinho would later try to put a different spin on his comment, it was clear that he did not have much confidence in Benzema. The under-fire Frenchman did manage two hat-tricks in December, but these came in a meaningless Champions League game against Auxerre and an 8-1 Copa del Rey thrashing of lowly Levante, and did little to convince Mourinho. Indeed, in a crucial Liga clash against Almeria, Benzema was left on the bench as Madrid lined up without a true striker, with Cristiano Ronaldo assuming that role. It was the ultimate insult, and the nadir of Benzema’s season.

By leaving Benzema on the bench, Mourinho killed two birds with one stone – he made it clear to Benzema that he would have to drastically improve if he wanted to play for Real Madrid again, and also made a point to Florentino Perez and Jorge Valdano that a new striker was urgently required. Perez and Valdano finally relented, and Emmanuel Adebayor was brought in from Man City. Adebayor started fairly well, and things were looking bleak for Benzema, who by now had been re-christened Benzená (ná being short for nada, or “nothing”) by Marca.

Then suddenly, it happened – Benzema began scoring goals. Not just any goals, but crucial ones. First, a spectacular solo effort in the away leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals against Sevilla, which all but booked Real’s place in the final. Then, a few weeks later, another crucial away goal – this time in the Champions League Round of 16 tie against his former team Lyon. Real hadn’t scored in the Stade Gerland in their three previous visits, being defeated all three times, but less than a minute after coming on as a sub for Adebayor, Benzema put Real 1-0 up against the team that nurtured him into a star. He chose not to celebrate out of respect for his hometown club and fans, but Florentino Perez, in a rare expression of emotion in the presidential box, jumped off his seat in an unrestrained show of delight and relief as Lyon supremo Jean Michel Aulas could only look on glumly.



After leaving his mark on Madrid’s Copa del Rey and Champions League campaigns, Benzema set his sights on La Liga, where he scored three consecutive braces followed by the opening goal in the 2-1 win away at Atletico Madrid. But he wasn’t just scoring goals – his off-the-ball play was improving by leaps and bounds, and he quite simply looked more alert and confident out on the pitch. It was indeed quite heartening to see that he had the mental strength to bounce back after the brickbats hurled at him from all quarters. Instead of whining or making excuses, he had responded to Mourinho’s stinging criticism in the best possible way – by improving his performances. While his purple patch would be cut short by an injury that left him unavailable for a few weeks, he ultimately capped off his season in style, scoring a brace in the last game of the season. This left him with a very respectable season tally of 26 goals in 48 appearances (17 of them off the bench). Despite his early season struggles, Benzema managed to prove that a) he has what it takes to score crucial goals in high-stakes games, and b) he has what it takes to score clumps of goals at a time.

Now, in the build-up to the 2011-12 season, it appears that Benzema has picked up where he left off at the end of last season. Madridista Mac, in his recent article at the RMFB observed that Benzema is finally combining his undoubted technical ability with awareness, alertness and involvement, thereby “becoming the player we were all expecting to see when he joined us”. He also seems to be becoming the player that Mourinho expects him to be. The Special One was effusive in his recent praise for Benzema, stating that he “now thinks about football the same way that I do” and “has everything required to have a great campaign”.

It was a far cry from the public berating Benzema suffered at the hands of his coach last season. In hindsight, Mourinho’s “cat-dog” comment and other public criticisms of Benzema were his way of lighting a fire up Benzema’s rear end. He knew what Benzema was capable of and had faith in his abilities, so he criticized him as a way of challenging him to do better. “Why then”, you ask, “did he not employ the same approach with Pedro Leon”? Well he did to begin with, but quickly lost all faith in him and so just chose to ignore his existence for the remainder of the season. To Mourinho, Pedro Leon wasn’t worth motivating. But Benzema was. And boy did it ever work. Benzema now looks happy and confident on the pitch, and seems to be genuinely enjoying his football. “I have worked really hard this summer and feel all the better for it”, said a beaming Benzema following the recent game against Hertha Berlin.

I don’t think anyone ever doubted Benzema’s talent. I think we can all agree that he always had more raw talent and technical ability than Pipita Higuain and is a more natural finisher. The reason Pipita has been so much more successful is because of his professionalism, maturity, intelligence and mental fortitude. Benzema’s first season and a half at Real Madrid suffered due to the language barrier, the stress of moving to a new team in an unfamiliar league and country, and his numerous tactical and personality deficits. But now that he has made tangible progress in ironing out his flaws, he can be genuinely hopeful to have the kind of impact on Real Madrid that Pipita has had in the past. For the first time since joining Real Madrid, Benzema will be able to play with confidence in his own abilities as well the confidence of his coach. This will allow him to play without performance anxiety and with tranquillity, which sets him up for an absolutely stellar season this time around.

An additional boost for Benzema that deserves mention is the Zidane factor. While Zidane was occasionally around the team last season, he is set to play a much more hands-on role this time around. While he may have been handed the ambiguous title of “Director of Football” (ambiguous because Mourinho is apparently “Head of Football Operations”), the truth is that he is there to motivate and help the players (and of course, to learn the coaching trade from one of its best exponents). For Benzema, having an all-time great like Zidane around him will be a massive help when you consider the fact that they both speak the same language and even share the same ethnicity, being Frenchmen of Algerian descent. The motivation and inspiration factor of having Zidane around cannot be discounted.


Zidane Will Be Watching Over Benzema This Season

In conclusion, I don’t see anything stopping Benzema from having a memorable season this time around. He has finally supplemented his raw talent with the intelligence and maturity needed to become a world-class player. It is these crucial but often understated variables that separate the Messis from the Robinhos, the Cristiano Ronaldos from the Quaresmas, and the Benzema of 2009 from the Benzema of 2011. Zidane’s presence will work as an X-factor, while Higuain’s poor pre-season form means that Benzema will probably start the season as first-choice striker and will have a golden opportunity to cement a place in the team. Just as Higuain (and ultimately, Real Madrid) once benefited from a long-term injury to Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Benzema is now set to benefit from Higuain’s poor pre-season form as well as his own hard work since last season. While I am confident that Higuain’s form will pick up as the season progresses, my gut tells me that this will be Benzema’s season.

Speaking of Van Nistelrooy, the great Dutchman once famously told Gonzalo Higuain that “goals are like ketchup – sometimes, as much as you try and shake the bottle, hardly anything comes out and then suddenly it all comes out at once”. After two seasons of shaking the proverbial bottle, it looks like Benzema is all set to make a “splash” next season.
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Post by guest7 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:47 am

It's a pretty good quote haha
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Post by The Madrid One on Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:23 am

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/788426-real-madrid-first-team-xi-gonzalo-higuan-vs-karim-benzema-who-should-start/page/8

benzema fits madrid better than higuain
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Post by H.A. on Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:38 am

@The Madrid One wrote:bleacherreport.com/articles/788426-real-madrid-first-team-xi-gonzalo-higuan-vs-karim-benzema-who-should-start/page/8

benzema fits madrid better than higuain

You know if Higuain didn't have that back injury last year we wouldn't even be having this conversation, just putting it out there Very Happy

On an un-related note its really getting annoying not being able to post a link, even if it's from a quote until 7 days after registration bounce
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Post by Kuru on Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:55 am

That site is incredibly terrible, there is an article on it, listing "Madrid's greatest signings of ALL TIME", the list contained names such as Beckham and Robinho. They failed to list one player before 2000.
Even Puskas and Di Stifano didn't get any mention.

While another article listing the most "wanted players by MOU" They listed players like Di Rossi, Mohammed Sissoko, Eden Hazard (remember, wanted by mou, not Zidane) and Pastore...
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Post by guest7 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:34 am

That site is terrible.

The Madrid No. 9 does not play with the ruthlessness of a world-class finisher. Benzema gets into great positions, but he can struggle to deliver in the biggest moments.

Although the French international has impressive skill on the ball, his first touch can be poor at times.

Comon son, his first touch is one of the best in the team. It's a beauty how he does it.
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Post by teamanarchy on Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:40 pm

I'm dead serious, Benzema is looking HOT atm.
Give him some time, and regular football and I feel he could be considered one of, if not the best

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