Football News

Karim Benzema is not backing down after comparing Olivier Giroud to a go-kart

By Chris Smith

Published: 18:51, 31 March 2020

Karim Benzema has backed up his comments comparing Olivier Giroud to a go-kart, insisting he “simply told the truth”.

The Real Madrid striker said “don’t confuse Formula One with go-karting” when asked on Instagram if there was a comparison to be made between him and his compatriot.

Is Benzema right about Giroud? Five things to know…

  • Benzema hasn’t played for France since 2015.
  • Prior to that, he had managed 27 goals in 81 caps.
  • Giroud has scored 39 goals in 97 caps for Les Bleus and helped them win the 2018 World Cup.
  • But Benzema has thrived at club level, winning four Champions League titles with Real Madrid.
  • Benzema has doubled down on his comments saying he is more like Formula One and Giroud go-karting.

Benzema hasn’t been capped for France since 2015 due to a falling out with the French Football Federation and former teammate Mathieu Valbuena. Giroud has filled the void left by the 32-year-old, helping Les Bleus win the 2018 World Cup.

Many have been left shocked by Benzema’s rather candid assessment of Giroud’s abilities and although he did insist he also complimented the Chelsea striker, that didn’t stop him doubling down on his comments.

“About Giroud, I simply told the truth,” he said.

“But we didn’t remember what I said about him, especially about what he brings to the French national team.

“We just remembered the moment when I said I was F1 and he was karting. That’s what I think, that’s the truth, and that’s how it is.

“Because now, if you ask me with R9 (Ronaldo): R9 is F1, and I am karting. That’s the way it is. We’re going to move on.”

Benzema vs Giroud

Prior to the suspension of football this season, Benzema had netted 19 goals in 36 games across all competitions for Real Madrid. In fact, he’s been the one consistent forward at the club since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.

At club level, and at least in recent seasons, Giroud has struggled in comparison to his fellow Frenchman. Yes, he was the Europa League’s top scorer last season with 11 goals as Chelsea won the tournament, but in the Premier League, he’s found both minutes and goals hard to come by.

The 33-year-old has managed just 1,275 Premier League minutes since the start of last season, scoring four goals in 36 games.

That said, at international level, Giroud has thrived in the absence of Benzema, scoring 39 goals in 97 caps — compared to 27 goals in 81 caps for the Real Madrid man — and helping his native France to that aforementioned 2018 World Cup triumph.

Giroud’s selflessness was utilised brilliantly by Didier Deschamps in Russia, using him as a target man and foil for the quicker, more dynamic Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.

Despite not finding the net at the tournament, Giroud starting each of France’s seven games, creating seven chances and winning the second-highest number of aerial duels (23) of any Les Bleus player.

All of this while Benzema could merely just watch on from afar.