Karim Benzema claims to be key that made Real Madrid’s famous ‘BBC’ partnership consisting of himself, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to work.
Real signed Benzema in the summer of 2009 from Lyon for a commanding €35m fee from Lyon. Just eight days earlier on July 1, they had signed Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo for a then-world record €94m.
The pair went on to enjoy a successful partnership at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Ronaldo scoring 358 goals alongside Benzema.
Although the Frenchman proved himself a capable scorer in his own right by scoring 164 in their 342 appearances together at Real.
Bale’s €100m world-record arrival from Tottenham in 2013, however, helped set a new era in motion for Los Blancos.
The Wales star quickly linked-up well with Benzema and Ronaldo to form a new fearsome attacking partnership. Together, they helped fire Los Blancos to an incredible four Champions League titles and a La Liga crown in just five years.
Sadly, though, some began to question Benzema’s value to the partnership towards the end of Ronaldo’s time in Madrid. He struggled to get on the scoresheet, and frequently ended up playing more of a supporting role instead.
However, the ever-confident Benzema has no doubts at all over his value in the famed BBC partnership.
“You had a rocket (Bale) and a goalscorer (Ronaldo), and then there was me, the piece that made it all work,” he told RMC Sport.
“Here, the finisher was Cristiano.
“I played a different role. I was involved more in the construction of moves and trying to open up spaces.
“For me, he was the best goalscorer even if he played on the left. I moved away to open up space and let him score.”
Since Ronaldo’s left for Juventus last year, though, Benzema has taken on a more central role in the Real attack.
The 31-year-old proved to be a rare bright spark in an otherwise disastrous campaign for Real last season by managing 30 goals and 11 assists in 53 appearances across all competitions.
And it seems Benzema is set for another profile campaign in front of goal after scoring twice in the club’s opening three La Liga fixtures.