Karim Benzema: every goal a winner
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Karim Benzema has plundered 25 goals for France and every single one has come in a win for Les Bleus. UEFA.com runs down the striker's remarkable scoring record.
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Should Karim Benzema score for France against Brazil in Thursday's prestige friendly at the Stade de France – as he did against the same opponents at the same venue four years ago – there is every chance Les Bleus will once again emerge victorious.
Benzema got the only goal against Brazil in February 2011, one of 25 the Real Madrid CF forward has compiled for his country. He is still less than halfway towards catching Thierry Henry's national record of 51, but time is still on the 27-year-old's side – and with 77 France appearances already, the highest number in Didier Deschamps' squad, he may even go on to surpass Lilian Thuram's record of 142 caps.
However, whatever Benzema may achieve over the remainder of his career, the Lyon-born striker has already managed something quite extraordinary. All 25 goals he has registered for France have come in victories. Every time Benzema has hit the target for his nation, the joy of scoring has been supplemented at the final whistle by the elation of being in a winning team.
A match winner on his debut, with a 53rd-minute effort in a 1-0 friendly success over Austria at the Stade de France on 28 March 2007, Benzema has continued to trade only in goals that matter. He habitually nets in singles – he has yet to claim an international hat-trick – yet they always count, and France always win.
Intriguingly, although the No9 marked his FIFA World Cup finals debut with three goals in Brazil last summer – two against Honduras in the opening game (3-0) and one against Switzerland in the next (5-2) – he has never notched for France at the UEFA European Championship.
He featured twice at UEFA EURO 2008 and four times at UEFA EURO 2012, yet the scoresheet eluded him in both tournaments. Will it be third time lucky on home soil next year? Despite all the pressure that will be heaped on his broad shoulders next summer, Benzema looks ready to deliver – and he has the statistics to prove it.
Karim Benzema's 25 goals for France
France 1-0 Austria, friendly – 1 goal
Faroe Islands 0-6 France, UEFA EURO 2008 qualifier – 2 goals
Sweden 2-3 France, friendly – 1 goal
France 3-1 Tunisia, friendly – 1 goal
France 1-0 Turkey, friendly – 1 goal
France 5-0 Faroe Islands, 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier – 1 goal
France 3-1 Austria, 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier – 1 goal
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-2 France, UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier – 1 goal
France 2-0 Luxembourg, UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier – 1 goal
England 1-2 France, friendly – 1 goal
France 1-0 Brazil, friendly – 1 goal
Albania 1-2 France, UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier – 1 goal
France 4-0 Estonia, friendly – 2 goals
France 6-0 Australia, friendly – 1 goal
France 3-0 Finland, 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier – 1 goal
France 3-0 Ukraine, 2014 FIFA World Cup play-off – 1 goal
France 2-0 Netherlands, friendly – 1 goal
France 8-0 Jamaica, friendly – 2 goals
France 3-0 Honduras, 2014 FIFA World Cup finals – 2 goals
Switzerland 2-5 France, 2014 FIFA World Cup finals – 1 goals
France 2-1 Portugal, friendly – 1 goal
FIFA World Cup finals – 3
UEFA European Championship finals – 0
World Cup qualifiers/play-offs – 4
EURO qualifiers/play-offs – 5
Friendlies – 13
Home – 16
Away – 6
Neutral – 3
Wins – 21
Draws – 0
Defeats – 0