Karim Benzema is well and truly a Real Madrid legend. He has come into his own in recent seasons, and has ushered the club back into the newly renovated Santiago Bernabeu with an explosive performance on Sunday.
The Frenchman scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid sealed a 5-2 victory against Celta Vigo in La Liga. He scored the equaliser after a tense start to the match which saw the visitors scoring as early as the 4th minute. Celta Vigo scored again just after the half-hour mark before Benzema scored another equaliser shortly after the break.
The number 9 then got some help from Vinicius Jr., who secured the lead for Los Blancos on the 54th minute mark. New signing Eduardo Camavinga made his first contribution as a Real Madrid player by scoring from off the bench. Benzema then put the final nail on Celta Vigo's coffin by completing his hat-trick in the closing minutes of the match.
The stunning performance gave Benzema the lead in this season's Pichichi chart, and helped Los Blancos stay on top of the La Liga table. Benzema has so far scored five goals in four league appearances, with Vinicius trailing closely behind alongside Real Sociedad's Mikel Oyarzabal on four goals apiece.
Real Madrid have scored a total of 13 goals already this early in the campaign. Benzema has been involved in nine of them, adding four assists to his personal goal tally.
Benzema has now made 563 appearances for Real Madrid, breaking into the top ten in the all-time list. If he stays relatively healthy this season, he will likely pass a few names and set his sights on the record of games played by the likes of Raul (741), Iker Casillas (725), Manolo Sanchís (710), Sergio Ramos (671) and Santillana (645).
Benzema has also established himself as the club's fifth all-time top scorer, He has a total tally of 284 goals to his name, and will likely overtake Santillana for the 4th spot if he passes 290 goals this season.