Football fans tend to be pretty split when it comes to how much importance you put into the captaincy, especially when the usual captain is missing through injury. It probably is a symbolic thing, but it should bring a little bit of extra pride for Karim Benzema on the night he breaks a Champions League record.
This tweet from Get French Football News confirms that Benzema takes the armband on the same night he will become the French player with the most appearances in Champions League history:
Karim Benzema captains Real Madrid on the night that he breaks the record for most Champions’ League appearances for a Frenchman.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) September 18, 2019
He’s made 112 appearances so far in Europe’s elite competition during his career with Lyon and Real Madrid, tonight will be his 113th. It’s a pretty phenomenal record when you consider how many great players France have produced who played at the top level for a long time. Thierry Henry is the player he will surpass tonight.
For reference, the current record holder is Iker Casillas on 177 games. The Spanish keeper is being hunted down by Cristiano Ronaldo on 162 games, so you imagine that could be yet another record that will eventually belong to the Juventus star.
Benzema’s record is even more impressive when you consider he also has 60 goals in those 112 games.
One word of warning for Real Madrid fans with this, Benzema was also captain when they were destroyed 4-1 at home by Ajax last year, so they will be hoping for a more favourable result in Paris tonight.