Barcelona beware - Karim Benzema is back to his Ballon d'Or-winning best!
It didn't take long for Karim Benzema to prove that he was back to his best. The Real Madrid striker had spent the first 25 minutes of his side's La Liga clash with Real Valladolid doing all of the Benzema things. He dropped into space, made runs into the right areas, and linked up with the midfielders.
Then, the Ballon d'Or-winning side of Benzema's game showed up.
His first goal was a striker's dart and header at the far post; his second a curled effort from outside the box; and the third was outrageous, a contortion of his ageing frame to flick a ball that was two yards behind him into the far corner.
🏆 TOP STORY: Luis Enrique heads to Chelsea for talks
📣 HAVE YOUR SAY: Is it time for Klopp to leave Liverpool?
🚨 MUST READ: Why Man Utd should get rid of De Gea
In exactly six minutes and 32 seconds, Benzema had come alive and secured himself the match ball.
And at the right time, too. His quickfire treble came just over 72 hours before Madrid's Copa del Rey semi-final Clasico, a game in which Los Blancos have to overturn a 1-0 aggregate deficit to book their place in the final against Osasuna.
In such a massive fixture, an in-form Benzema is the last thing Barcelona want to see — he is the key in sending Madrid to the final.