Barcelona’s signing of Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich was a signal of intent from Xavi, who aims to bring the title back to the Nou Camp for the first time since 2019. It also meant the beginning of another epic battle: Karim Benzema vs Robert Lewandowski, with the ‘winner’ odds on to conquer La Liga.
Polish International superstar Lewandowski spent 12 years in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, respectively. He amassed an enormous 447 goals in 562 appearances in all competitions across his time at both clubs. Lewandowski also set the record for the most goals scored in a single Bundesliga campaign with 41 in 29 appearances, beating Gerd Müller’s record of 40 back in the 1971/1972 season.
Lewandowski’s deadly exploits in front of goal in Germany places him 2nd in the all-time top scorers list for Bayern and in Bundesliga history, behind Gerd Müller in both respective competitions.
The former Bayern man has adapted to life in Spain quickly, already sitting as the top scorer in La Liga with 9 goals in 7 games. Lewandowski already has a Barcelona hat-trick to his name, bagging 3 in the UEFA Champions League against Viktoria Plzeñ.
But there aren’t many better when it comes to Champions League nights than Lewandowski’s rival in this year’s Pichichi (La Liga top scorer) race, Karim Benzema, who’s won the competition 5 times.
The Frenchman is odds on to win the 2022 Ballon D’or after a sensational last 18 months. Benzema led his side to a La Liga and Champions League double last campaign, at times single-handedly dragging Real Madrid over the line in the UCL knockout stages.
The former Lyon star scored back-to-back hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea in the Round of 16 and Quarter Finals, respectively. He also grabbed a goal in both legs of the semi against Man City as Los Blancos miraculously came from behind in every knockout tie, except the final, on their way to a record 14th European success.
Benzema is now considered a Real Madrid legend since taking on the mantle of leading their attack since Cristiano Ronaldo left in 2018. In fact, it’s only Ronaldo that lays ahead of Benzema in Madrid’s all-time top scorers list, with 327 goals. However, the Frenchman does top the charts for assists in Los Blancos history with 160, an impressive feat considering the names to have donned the famous white shirt.
Benzema missed a couple of games at the start of the current campaign through injury, culminating in just 3 league goals so far. The Real Madrid captain has a tough yet attainable task of chasing down his El Clasico counterpart.
However, Benzema had the chance to move one goal closer to his rival on Sunday night, after missing a penalty in Madrid’s 1-1 draw to Osasuna at the Bernabeu. The first time they’ve not won a game this campaign, across all competitions.
Meanwhile, a Lewandowski goal gave Barcelona all 3 points in a 1-0 away victory to Mallorca on Saturday, taking them to the top of La Liga, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference.
Tight margins at the top of La Liga as both Barcelona and Real Madrid remain unbeaten, each winning 6 of the opening 7 games. At this moment, it’s the Blaugrana’s rearguard keeping them top, with Barcelona currently possessing the best defence in Europe after only conceding 1 league goal all season.
However, we suspect it’ll be the two front men that prove decisive for La Liga supremacy, with both players being the two names mentioned when talking about the best strikers in world football (before Haaland started bagging hat-tricks every week).
This is set to be a battle for the ages, with the player that carries his Club to greater success arguably going to go down in history as better than the other.