It took until Matchday 2 of the new LaLiga season, but the battle for goals between Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski is now up and running in the top flight of Spanish football. The Real Madrid and FC Barcelona strikers opened their accounts on the same weekend, each helping their teams to start their respective matches in the best way possible. Benzema made it 0-1 for his side away at RC Celta, while Lewandowski did the same during Los Azulgranas’ trip to face Real Sociedad.
These are two of the best nines in the world and, after many seasons comparing their feats from a distance, this year they’ll both be fighting to climb the LaLiga Santander scoring charts every week. They’ll take their goalscoring abilities around Spain’s football stadiums, giving the competition an international sparkle with this tussle that promises to be evenly matched.
As well as their goals, both players contributed to their teams’ victories with their overall play too. Lewandowski assisted Ansu Fati for the last goal of his side’s 4-1 win in San Sebastian, while Benzema won a penalty in Vigo and was involved in many of Carlo Ancelotti’s side’s attacking moves.
However, both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid showed in their matches that their strengths go beyond the goals of their two attacking references. Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati also scored against Real Sociedad, as did Luka Modric, Vinicius and Fede Valverde for Los Blancos. This means that Lewandowski and Benzema have a lot of talent behind them, with players who’ll provide them with the necessary balls to rack up the goals.
Just as these two teams have other players capable of standing out for their play and goals, there are various other forwards in LaLiga Santander who have what it takes to challenge the two leading candidates to win the Pichichi, the trophy given out to the season’s top scorer. Borja Iglesias, the Real Betis striker, is currently leading this ranking with three goals in two games, having enjoyed a great start to the campaign. With two goals, the same as Lewandowski, there are currently five other players: Chimy Avila, Alvaro Morata, Alex Baena, Iago Aspas and Juanmi.
This year’s goalscoring race promises to be tight and the favourites to become top scorer of the division have already shown they can find the back of the net. It won’t be easy for them, but already Benzema and Lewandowski stand out among all the contenders, given their goalscoring stats in recent seasons.
In the case of Benzema, he is defending the goalscoring title he won last season thanks to the 27 goals he netted as Real Madrid won the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander title. FC Barcelona’s Polish striker enjoyed similar success last term, when he was also the top scorer in his league, in this case the Bundesliga, with 35 goals. In his final season in Germany, he won his seventh top scorer title, his fifth in a row.
In addition, Lewandowski has been awarded with the last two The Best awards (2020 and 2021), and he also won the Golden Boot for the last two seasons. An impeccable individual record for a great striker, but Karim Benzema has nothing to envy him. The Frenchman was the top scorer of the last Champions League, being a key player for Real Madrid to win the title, which positions him as the main candidate to monopolize both The Best and the Ballon d’Or prizes in 2022.
Lewandowski has now brought his scoring touch to LaLiga Santander and will go toe to toe with Benzema and the rest of the country’s goalscorers. The battle has only just begun, but already it appears it will be a thrilling race from now until June 2023.
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