Karim Benzema will step onto the pitch to take on Liverpool in Saturday’s Champions League final with the usual bandage wrapped around his hand, but why is the Real Madrid forward all strapped up?
While some fans think that the No.9’s hand is bandaged purely due to superstition, there is a reason for the protective measure that dates back as far as a game against Real Betis in January 2019.
Why does Karim Benzema have his hand bandaged?
Benzema‘s injury occurred following a clash with Betis defender Marc Bartra, leaving him with a fractured finger. At the time he was told that surgery would leave him on the sidelines for two months.
Instead of leaving Real Madrid without their starting striker, Benzema opted to wait until the end of the season to have the operation.
Although the surgery was a success, the forward rushed his rehabilitation to be available for the start of the next season.
Upon his return, his hand received another blow and he has worn a bandage ever since due to not being able to give enough time post-op for it to heal fully.
Now, Benzema‘s bandaged hand has become synonymous with images of him celebrating goals, and that’s something he has done more often than before since 2019, enjoying his best form for Real Madrid post-Cristiano Ronaldo, who of course left in 2018.
The numbers show that Benzema has been able to adapt to this situation. Not only has he not suffered, but every year he gets better and better.
This season he has scored 34 goals, 30 for Real Madrid and four at the European Championship, his second best of his career. He is also the Champions League’s top scorer this season, ahead of the final.
He scored 30 in the season of his injury, plus 27 and 11 assists in 2019/20.
For now, there are comparisons with former Real Madrid stars Jose Antonio Camacho and Chendo, who wore bandages in their playing days. A sign of Real Madrid‘s history and tradition continues through Benzema.