Players of the Week #1361 Late

Karim Benzema vs Athletic (2)

Real Madrid seems already to have one hand on the La Liga title this season as we reached the midway point of the campaign. Atletico Madrid has dropped four games in a row, all but exiting the race for the La Liga title. Barcelona still remains in total dysfunction. Xavi predictably hasn’t really made the difference. Meanwhile, Sevilla still is looking to push the top of the table as they seem to be the only other team involved in the title race; they still are eight points behind Real Madrid and would need some real insurgence to close the gap at the very top. Real Madrid is fighting on all fronts this season, and there’s no reason why they can’t push for the Champions League this season as well. Real Madrid has a well-balanced squad; there’s no doubt about that; however the reason all of this happening it’s because of Karim Benzema. Karim Benzema may be the second-best player in the world behind only Robert Lewandowski; he is certainly within the top three. The French Striker currently has 20 goals and nine assists this season as he continues to thrive and go to an unreal level since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. In fact since Cristiano Ronaldo has left the Santiago Bernabeu he has been the better player for just one year. I’ve mentioned this many times, but the last year of prime Cristiano Ronaldo was the first season at Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo is still effective and is still putting up good numbers, but at this moment, Karim Benzema is and continues to be the better player. A lot of times during the Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid era Karim Benzema was living under a shadow Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players to ever exist that version specifically is far superior than any other version we’ve ever seen. That is why it’s so astounding that Karim Benzema has been so dominant since he left considering the shoes he has had to fill. 29 goals contributions this season, and we’ve only reached the halfway point of the season. He ended 2021 with an absolute banger against Athletic Bilbao. Scoring twice in 7 minutes. He got things kick off with a brilliant through pass to the outside that eventually came right back to his foot after another cross inside to Toni Kroos who zinged it back to Karim Benzema one-touch finish sweet as a nut into the top corner incredible finish but it’s what we have grown to expect from Karim Benzema. Then minutes later on the break making the right movements into a dangerous position before he was threaded the ball in what was another finely-tuned finish. 15 goals in La Liga with another five in the Champions League. He has been piping hot this season scoring in the biggest games in February they will take on Lionel Messi Neymar Killian mbappe and PSG. An incredible team on paper but has not really put it all together as of yet. There are those under the illusion that PSG are the favorites and this is a difficult matchup for Real Madrid that is just not the case. Karim Benzema is on fire this season especially in crucial moments on the biggest of stages. As long as Karim Benzema is putting on the white of Real Madrid they will go through. It isn’t a foregone conclusion over two occasions is Karim Benzema is on his game they will beat PSG and if they do that they are capable of winning the Champions League and going on a Deep Run. This last weekend another incredible performance from Karim Benzema something we have learned to expect like I said there’s only one player on the planet that is better than Karim Benzema just one he is playing on that much of a level this season and it is only natural to assume this is going to continue as he will heat up they were not very many players this past week who performed at a higher level Karim Benzema.

Serge Gnabry vs Wolfsburg & Stuttgart

Bayern Munich is the best team in the world. When they are entirely healthy, they are unstoppable in challenging to contain. Had they been healthy last season thoroughly, they would have beaten PSG, and they would have beaten Manchester City. They would have beaten Chelsea Bayern Munich going into this season would be trying to win their third straight Champions League. Bayern Munich’s defensive ability has improved this season, and their attack is just on a completely different level at the moment. However, being a part of a Bayern Munich attack can sometimes shadow one of their best players. Robert Lewandowski is the best player in the world is scoring every single week and recently broke Cristiano Ronaldo’s 2017 goals in a calendar year with 69 goals from Robert Lewandowski and Leray Sane has been such a revelation this season, continuing to build off of very productive campaign last year and looks like he’s at his very best to season one of the best players in the world. Thomas Muller is class personified as every single season he quietly is one of the best players in the world doing things in so many different ways scoring goals while also supplying them he gets none of the admiration or the credit for his work as the media seems to be obsessed with a premier league midfielders that could not lace the boots of Thomas Muller. However, the one that always gets left out the one that also gets forgotten is Serge gnabry; he is one of the most explosive players in the Bundesliga and can make a dent without scoring his explosiveness, and his athleticism is one of the reasons this Bayern Munich team is so lethal on both fronts. With Serge gnabry on one side and Leroy Sane on the other, it’s a complicated thing to contain with. However, because Robert Lewandowski is a goal-scoring machine and Leroy Sane has the League on fire in a certain respect, what Serge Gnabry has done so far this season has somewhat been swept under the carpet. If you look at what he has done the last two weeks, it’s pretty remarkable. He is also taking the sacrifices necessary when you play for Bayern Munich; your numbers are going to look deflated at times because of some of the high-voltage goal-scorers that they have in the team. If Serge gnabry played for a different Bundesliga team, he would be a 20-goal scorer; he’s just that good. However, on Bayern Munich, he’s not necessarily going to do that because of the other weapons surrounding him. However, over the last two matches, he has been ruthless, just another reminder of how good he is and how important he truly is. Last week against Stuttgart, he had what I believe was the best individual performance in World football in 2021. I’m not kidding when I say this of everyone that was productive in this last year; it was indeed the best individual performance, and that includes everyone. He had five-goal contributions with three goals getting a hat trick but also having the selflessness to supply two goals with his passing and vision. Foremost a hat trick in a game would be more than enough, but he went that extra mile and supplied other goals genuinely remarkably. If you watch that game way how vindictive and dominant he was truly outstanding; he outperformed Robert Lewandowski, who is by far the best player in the world and the most dangerous goal-scorer he forced him to a certain extent to take a backseat in that match as he became the most explosive option for Bayern Munich against them. Against Wolfsburg, he didn’t reasonably light up the score sheet in the same way but still was very influential this week, showing his Dynamic ability, intelligence, and selfishness. He didn’t blow up the score sheet, but he was able to do all those things that you want from a player of his ability in a game against Wolfsburg, taking the sacrifice and helping his team and other ways. He assisted Leroy Sane with a beautiful ball into the box that Leroy finished. Serge gnabry was excellent once again 9 goals and five assists for Bayern Munich so far this season; considering the fact that he is a third at sometimes fourth option, that’s a really good return to this campaign so far those numbers will only go up. At the same time, his performances he’s a player that’s been a factor with the Bayern Munich regardless of how many he sticks in the back of the net, the sacrifices that he makes week in and week out, and the ways he is still able to be very effective is another reason why this Bayern Munich team is so hard to stop because you can hide Serge in the attack. He can kick you in the mouth out of nowhere it was another superb week for the German international that has been one of the most underrated attackers in Europe this season.

Tammy Abraham vs Atalanta

There certainly has been a lack of consistency when it has come to the Roma attack. They have it issues in this aspect, particularly with the absence of Lorenzo Pellegrini, potentially and arguably one of the best midfielders in Italy and certainly one of the best in Europe. He has been scoring and supplying at a high level this season; he is the player that Roma looks to when they’re in trouble; he’s the one that digs them out. He has been unavailable and out with an injury. He should return for the match against AC Milan, and Juventus is missed out and all three of Roma’s big matches this season. There was a high level of concern about what Roma would do in the attacking setup without him. It has been very inconsistent, but one of the things that have been a blessing in disguise to a certain extent is the explosion of Tammy Abraham. He has been playing some of his best football this season; he’s in terrific form, and he’s one of the few players in this Roma team that has been consistently performing at a high level. Tammy Abraham has not had a bad game this campaign, at least one that I can bring to memory. It was always going to be a certain level of expectation and pressure on Tammy Abraham, first and foremost for the amount of money that Rome has spent on him 36 million the second most expensive Roma player ever but more importantly who he was replacing not only replacing edin Dzeko a club legend that happened to be in the stands in Bergamo but he also took his number 9 fans very well aware of who was the last person to wear it. To a certain extent, it put some unwanted pressure on a player coming into a new country that has not learned to speak the language as of yet, even though he is working on it. It was one of his best performances, certainly one of the best performances we’ve seen this week; it was tremendous how he performed in a game of this magnitude. He scored in the first 53 seconds using his strength and athleticism to get into a dangerous area before propping the ball into the back of the net. Tammy Abraham was dangerous all game long, and they eventually got his first brace in Italian football with a strike on the back of a beautifully constructed Roma attack. He now has 6 League goals and 12 goals in all competitions. Reflection of who he is replacing the legend edin Dzeko with Inter Milan has 11 goals that seemed to be a fair trade-off this season. It is going to take a lot of time for Tammy Abraham to replace that in Dzeko in any shape or form truly; no one is expecting Tammy Abraham to score the number of goals that that edin Dzeko did, but he’s been the adequate replacement for him, and he is proving that the season yet again. He is in sizzling form, and this will only heat up when Lorenzo Peregrine returns to the pitch; what he can do against AC Milan and Juventus will be very interesting because there are very few players in Italy at this very moment that are in better form than Tammy Abraham the decision to bring him to Rome has been a tremendous one the fans have taken him into our hearts and has become a fan favorite already. Nicolo zaniolo was able to pitch in as Tammy, and Nicolo zaniolo seemed to have a good vibe together in their performance. Tammy Abraham, after the game, even expressed how much fun it is to play with the Italian International. When Lorenzo Pellegrini comes back, if those three can play together at a high-level Champions League, Ambitions indeed will become more realistic. He scored his first goal since 2019 in the league, a critical moment and an emotional moment for a player that has gone through so many injuries. In Roma shows moments this season, the thing I have been persistent on is Tammy Abraham and Nicolo zaniolo getting going. Tammy’s done his part and is in great form, hopefully opening up his account this season. Nicolo zaniolo will start to heat up again; his decision-making needs to improve, but it was a sight for things to come to Tammy Abraham and Nicolo zaniolo vital to Roma, especially against AC Milan and Juventus coming up Sampdoria on Tuesday will be another opportunity for them to shine much as they did and pulling off a massive upset away from home.

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