Lionel Messi’s life at Paris Saint-Germain has been quite difficult, at least in the opening few months. The Argentine maestro has not reached his own exceedingly high standards. Halfway into the season, he is still with just a goal to his name for the Parisians in the league and many have consequently attacked him for this lack of form.
Karim Benzema is not one of these. The Real Madrid number nine has come to the aid of his former El Clasico rival during an interview with TF1, saying, “Who says he won’t succeed at PSG? It’s a period of adaptation.”
More often than not when players make moves to football clubs, their form deteriorates and this initial phase of adaptation is one which even Messi is vulnerable to. The current Ballon d’Or winner has six goals across the season, and this is far below his usual standards.
Benzema has often advocated for people to look at performances beyond mere goals and assists. Before Cristiano Ronaldo left, he scored just five La Liga goals, and 11 across all competitions. Back then, despite being integral to the functioning of Real Madrid, barely anyone commended his efforts.
Now that he averages more than 20 a season in the league, he is getting acknowledgement that is long overdue. His words here echoed the same sentiment: “He is not scoring a lot of goals, but watch what he does on the pitch. He who criticises Messi, knows nothing about football in fact!”
Despite not scoring many goals, Messi’s performances are still at a high level. The automatisms he developed with Jordi Alba do not exist anymore at PSG. Nevertheless, he is still one of the very best footballers in the world. It is only a matter of time before the goals start raining in.
As for Benzema, it’s business as usual with Real Madrid and France. This season he already has 29 goals and 10 assists for both Real Madrid and France. His exploits have been integral in Los Blancos‘ Super Cup triumph, Les Bleus‘ Nations League win, as well as Los Merengues’ league and cup title challenge.