Benzema signs new Real Madrid deal

By Sports Desk August 20, 2021

Karim Benzema will remain a Real Madrid player through to the end of the 2022-23 season after the talisman agreed a one-year extension to his contract.

The Spanish capital giants continue to be linked with moves for Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, but they have ensured Benzema will be around to help any new arrivals settle.

A fresh deal for the 33-year-old was announced on Friday as the France striker pledged his allegiance again to the cause he joined in 2009 after beginning his career at Lyon.

Head coach Carlo Ancelotti saw Benzema prove his value to the team with two goals in the 4-1 season-opening LaLiga win at Deportivo Alaves on Saturday.

This season more than ever it appears Benzema will have a crucial role to play, given his seniority and profile at the club. Marcelo has been appointed as captain following the departure of Sergio Ramos, but there is little doubt Benzema will also be expected to show leadership.

With Marcelo absent for the Alaves game, it was Benzema who skippered the team, spearheading the attack as Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard supported from the flanks.

The value of Benzema to Madrid has long been obvious, but since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus in July 2018 his goals and forward play have become ever more important.

In the period since record scorer Ronaldo moved on, Benzema has scored 89 goals in 148 games for Madrid, surpassing an expected goals score of 79.88. Only four players from Europe's top five leagues have scored more in that time: Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Ronaldo.

Excluding penalties from the equation, Benzema has netted more times than Ronaldo, scoring 80 to his former team-mate's haul of 72 for Juve.

Only Bayern Munich's Lewandowski (33 goals) has scored more headers than Benzema's 23 in the same period. Messi, who left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain this month, is the only player to have hit the woodwork more often: 33 times to Benzema's 26.

Related items

  • Haaland's a 'goalscoring machine' – Hummels showers Dortmund star in praise Haaland's a 'goalscoring machine' – Hummels showers Dortmund star in praise

    Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels heaped praise on "goalscoring machine" Erling Haaland, who inspired a 4-2 Bundesliga win over Union Berlin.

    Haaland maintained his red-hot form with a brace as Dortmund defeated visiting Union Berlin on Sunday – the 21-year-old becoming the youngest player in history to reach 47 Bundesliga goals in just his 48th appearance.

    After Dortmund full-back Raphael Guerreiro opened the scoring in stunning fashion, Haaland doubled Dortmund's lead in the 24th minute via a header.

    A Marvin Friedrich own goal seven minutes into the second half virtually put the result beyond doubt, though Max Kruse's penalty gave Union Berlin some hope.

    After Andreas Voglsmanner netted a second for Union Berlin, Haaland then produced a stunning lob over Andreas Luthe with seven minutes remaining.

    "Did he really score a header today?" German star Hummels told DAZN. "He's been practising a lot.

    "He's got so many strengths, now he's also working on his weaknesses.

    "When he came to Dortmund from Salzburg [in 2020], his aerial game was pretty bad. [Former head coach] Edin [Terzic], Erling and I spent a lot of time practising crosses, over and over again, and now you can see where that gets you.

    "He's definitely going to get 10 more goals a season because of the fact he's improved his aerial game. He's just a goalscoring machine."

    Haaland has 68 goals in 67 competitive games overall for Dortmund, including 11 in eight this season.

    Hummels added: "Whenever he sees a chance to put the ball in the back of the net, his eyes light up. He's going to be one of the best forwards in the world for the next 15 years."

    Haaland has already scored two headers in the Bundesliga this season, as many as he managed in all of 2020-21.

    "If Erling scores those headers permanently now, then 'Wow!' and 'Congratulations!' to our upcoming opponents," said Dortmund head coach Marco Rose.

    Rose's Dortmund scored for a 37th consecutive Bundesliga game, a club record and the third longest such run in the league's history.

    Dortmund are third in the standings – a point adrift of champions and leaders Bayern Munich after five rounds.

  • Brady's unbeaten Buccaneers not satisfied: We can do better Brady's unbeaten Buccaneers not satisfied: We can do better

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw plenty of room for improvement even after a 48-25 defeat of the Atlanta Falcons that featured five touchdown passes by superstar Tom Brady. 

    NFL Super Bowl champions the Buccaneers held a 28-10 lead following the opening drive of the second half, but watched Matt Ryan and the Falcons narrow the deficit to three by the end of the third quarter on Sunday.

    Brady's final TD pass of the game and a pair of interception returns for touchdowns by Mike Edwards in the fourth period accounted for the lopsided final score, but the Buccaneers did not sound satisfied afterward. 

    "The defence made some huge plays, that's the great thing," Brady told reporters. "Fourth quarter, three-point game and they make a huge stop and [we] went down there and scored, which was good. Then a few big turnovers, so that was great to see.

    "Offensively, we grinded out and found a way but obviously we all wish we could have done some things to be more productive. It was a good team effort."

    Brady improved to 9-0 in his career against the Falcons and broke one of his own NFL records in the process. 

    The 44-year-old has already thrown nine touchdowns through two games this season – a new career-high after two games of a season.

    Brady has thrown for at least four passing touchdowns in four successive regular-season games, dating back to last term. It ties Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the NFL's second longest streak since 1950 – one shy of Peyton Manning's streak of five straight games.

    Including the playoffs, Sunday was the ninth straight game in which the Buccaneers won while scoring at least 30 points, breaking the league record of eight previously shared with Brady's 2007 and 2011 New England Patriots. 

    On the heels of a tense 31-29 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the season opener, Tampa Bay are grateful to be unbeaten but do not believe they have found a rhythm. 

    "We left points out there," Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said. "Obviously we got 14 out of the defence but we left points out there offensively.

    "I haven't seen us getting close to playing consistently yet. Hopefully we'll get there next week because we're going to have to."

    The Buccaneers will face the high-powered Los Angeles Rams in Week 3 in their first road game of the season, and Brady agrees that the offence will need to do more going forward. 

    "What I think and I'm sure other guys feel the same way is I think we can do better," Brady said. "I really do. I think we have the opportunity, the way the games are flowing and the opportunities we're getting with the ball we can maybe have even more opportunities.

    "We were a little loose with the ball, some penalties at different times that have knocked us out of some scoring drives. Some missed throws that I've had, some missed reads. I certainly wish I had made a few better throws tonight.

    "But, again, it's good to get the win. We're 2-0 and there's a lot to build on."

  • Solskjaer always had faith in De Gea as Man Utd boss curbs title talk Solskjaer always had faith in De Gea as Man Utd boss curbs title talk

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauded David de Gea after his penalty-saving heroics in Manchester United's victory over West Ham, while downplaying talk of the Premier League title.

    United goalkeeper De Gea saved his first penalty in 41 attempts to help the Red Devils secure a dramatic 2-1 win at West Ham. 

    Jesse Lingard curled in a stunning 89th-minute strike after United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo had earlier cancelled out Said Benrahma's deflected opener in London, where De Gea emerged the hero.

    De Gea saved Mark Noble's 95th-minute penalty – the Spain international ending a drought dating back to April 2016 without saving a spot-kick.

    United's De Gea has now saved three and conceded 28 of the penalties he has faced in the Premier League; he had failed to keep out 21 in a row in the competition before denying substitute Noble. 

    De Gea has found himself in the spotlight amid doubts over his future due to his form at Old Trafford, where Dean Henderson's arrival last season sparked speculation, but Solskjaer hailed the 30-year-old veteran.

    "I believe in David and I've seen him [make a penalty save]," Solskjaer told reporters. "He saved against Crystal Palace last season, and his foot was a little inch off the line. 

    "I've seen Mark Noble score so many penalties, you did feel down and out and expected to come home with one point but luckily David has continued his good form."

    United have now gone 29 away Premier League matches without defeat, Lingard claiming their latest comeback victory.

    Solskjaer's United are unbeaten in their last 14 away games in the Premier League when conceding first (W10 D4), including a 3-1 win in this fixture last season.

    United – who have not won the Premier League since 2012-13 – are level with Chelsea and Liverpool atop the table through five matches.

    "We're five games into the season, and I was probably down and out and lost my job yesterday [Saturday, after the Champions League loss to Young Boys during the week]," said Solskjaer. "So, that's just the way it is at Man United. 

    "We've got to keep our feet grounded, dig out points like we did today. I thought they deserved the three points and you know it's a hard place to come and get these points.

    "Hopefully we can, can make a difference, let's see when we get towards April and May."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.