While at Real Madrid, Karim Benzema went from being a backup player to a superstar, but his time with the club officially ended this summer due to his move to Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia.

In the summer of 2009, Real Madrid began a recruiting campaign that would forever alter the course of the club and have reverberating effects on Spanish and European soccer to this day.

The years after his arrival made it appear as if Karim Benzema would always be second fiddle to the team’s star player Cristiano Ronaldo. His dedication paid off, as he rose to the position of leader among the group’s genuine A-listers.

His teammates Raul, Gonzalo Higuain, and Ronaldo all departed one by one, but he remained. Throughout time, eventually, he would be remembered as the man who made everything possible.

Benzema rose as club legends departed

The number of goals he scored and the amount of time he played both suffered during his first year. Even though he seldom played (playing time of less than 15 complete 90-minute games), the club was undergoing rapid transformation. It was just impossible to bond with the Portuguese.

A huge void was created in Los Blancos’ roster since the five-time Ballon d’Or winner departed. Thus, the onus of responsibility had to fall on someone’s shoulders. With the recent success of Vinicius and Rodrygo, the Frenchman reverted to his position as a facilitator, paving the way for them to become the team’s stars – like Ronaldo once did for him.

Benzema was dominant with Real Madrid, and his performances won him the Ballon d’Or.
Benzema was dominant with Real Madrid, and his performances won him the Ballon d’Or.

Benzema was dominant with Real Madrid, and his performances won him the Ballon d’Or.

Four of Benzema’s best five seasons have occurred while Ronaldo was not on the team. His last season at Real Madrid saw him score 31 goals across all competitions, although the club ultimately concluded the year trophy-less.

After 14 years and a plethora of titles at the Bernabeu, the French prolific striker opted to depart for the Saudi Arabia club Al-Ittihad after receiving a generous offer.

Real Madrid wants to replace Benzema with Mehdi Taremi

Real Madrid passed on signing a new star forward to replace Karim Benzema this summer despite rumors linking them to the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe. Instead, Real opted for a less expensive and less long-term solution by bringing back a product of their academy program, Joselu, on loan.

The 33-year-old has had a decent season thus far. He has five goals in 13 games this season. Yet, Real Madrid may not view him as a long-term solution. As a result, if the price is right, Carlo Ancelotti could add another striker in the next transfer window.

Mehdi Taremi of Porto is one intriguing figure with whom they have been often associated as of late at Real Madrid. The veteran striker has reportedly expressed a desire to move to the Spanish capital in January, as reported by Fichajes.

He values joining Real Madrid more than any of the other major teams that have shown interest in signing him. There have also been rumors that the La Liga table leaders are thinking about making an offer for him.

Taremi’s current contract with Porto will end in June 2024. Real Madrid can acquire Mehdi Taremi at a bargain price. Or, it can wait until the conclusion of the 2023/24 season. At that point, he will be available for free.