The Pichichi Trophy is the award for the goal. Nothing more, nothing less. Whoever scores the most goals in LaLiga is the one who takes home the trophy. There is one name that will lift it, for the first time this season: Karim Benzema.
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In the history of Spanish soccer, there are illustrious names such as Quini, Zarra, Mario Kempes, Butragueño, Hugo Sánchez, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo who have taken home the award.
Only a catastrophe would prevent Benzema from lifting the trophy. As of today, the Frenchman is 10 goals clear of Vinícius Júnior, Juanmi, Raúl de Tomas and Enes Unal, his closest pursuers. With 24 goals, the Frenchman has a difference as wide as it is hard-earned.
Since the departure of Cristiano, the Frenchman has shined
The Real Madrid striker has always scored goals. His importance since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo has jumped to the forefront of the Madrid showcase.
Without the shadow of the Portuguese's spotlight, Benzema has taken a step forward in the goalscoring department to lead the Blancos' attack and also to prove that his previous job was to create chances for Cristiano Ronaldo to show off if you understand the expression.
In 742 games for both Olympique Lyon and Real Madrid, Benzema has 379 goals and 184 assists. Except in his first season in Madrid, where he scored 8 goals, and in the 17/18 campaign, where he scored just 5 goals, the Frenchman has always had great goalscoring numbers that, however, were never enough to fight for the Pichichi Trophy.
Messi and Cristiano erased Benzema
In fact, like any striker contemporary to them, the presence of Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has conditioned each and every one of the individual awards of the last twelve years. Since 2010, Messi has won 8 trophies to Cristiano's 3.
Only Luis Suárez, the Argentine's teammate, managed to snatch the award from them in 2016. Hence the importance of Benzema's individual role in the current panorama of Spanish soccer.
Not only because of what he generates, but the Frenchman has also been an example of a modern striker for years: he scores goals, assist other teammates, generates chances, and helps in defense. He is not like other big names who "pass" on helping the team. Benzema is one of those who prioritize common behavior over individual awards. That is why, thanks to his work and humility, he has become a historical reference in Madrid.