At half-time the headlines were already written, the BBC wrote about Karim Benzema’s hat-trick during the Champions League match against PSG on Wednesday night.
Kylian Mbappe, arguably the biggest talent in world football right now, had done it again for Paris St-Germain, scoring against Real Madrid to put the French side 2-0 up on aggregate and in command of their Champions League last-16 second leg.
But then Karim Benzema had other ideas, reported the British news agency.
The striker stunned the visitors with a 17-minute hat-trick to turn the tie on its head and send Real into the quarter-finals.
According to the BBC, it keeps the Champions League’s most successful team on course for a record 14th title and once again underlined Benzema’s status as one of the best – but also underrated – strikers in the world.
‘Benzema is historic’ BBC quoted the headline of one newspaper following the France international’s stunning second-half display at the Bernabeu.
His second and third goals came in the space of just 106 seconds, giving PSG’s players no time to process how they had gone from a commanding position to once again exiting the Champions League at the knockout stage.
At the age of 34 years and 80 days, Benzema became the oldest player to score a Champions League hat-trick, while his three goals also took him on to 309 in total for Real, moving above the legendary Alfredo di Stefano to third on the all-time top scorer list for the Spanish giants.
While Mbappe, Erling Braut Haaland at Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski have, at one time or another this season, been talked about as the best striker in the world for their goalscoring exploits, BBC reports that Benzema goes somewhat under the radar despite his own phenomenal record.