Benzema bids farewell to Real and La Liga with hit, Valladolid relegated
Karim Benzema was able to help Real Madrid to second place in La Liga with a goal on his farewell. The French striker, who is leaving the Spanish main squad after 14 seasons, provided a 1-1 final score against Athletic Club from the penalty spot.
It was his 354th goal in his 648th game for the Royal.
Atlético Madrid could have passed their home city archrival on the final matchday, but a 2-2 draw at Villarreal was not enough to do so.
The 35-year-old Benzema had announced his departure from Real earlier in the day. The Frenchman, who looks set to move to Saudi Arabia, was given a crowd change against Athletic in the 73rd minute.
Oihan Sancet had opened the scoring in the 49th minute on behalf of Club Athletic, which still had a chance of participating in the Conference League next season. However, the spot in the preliminary rounds of the European club tournament went to Osasuna due to the points loss.
At the bottom, the curtain had already fallen for Espanyol and straggler Elche. To that was added Real Valladolid on the last day of competition. The number eighteen on the league table failed to save their own lives.
It failed to beat Getafe, which was also in the danger zone, but ended up 0-0.
For a moment, help threatened to come from Barcelona, where Espanyol was on its way to a victory over Almería. However, that saved a point at the last minute thanks to a penalty kick by Adri Emabarda (3-3), who had also accounted for the 2-2 earlier in the game.
Arbiter Lahoz finished
Benzema may be one of the players who will not be seen back in La Liga next year, but so is referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.
In the Netherlands, we know the retiring referee mainly for his performance during the World Cup in Qatar, where he graced the quarterfinal between the Netherlands and Argentina with no less than nineteen yellow cards.
Shortly after the World Cup, during the city derby between Barcelona and Espanyol, he again sprinkled with prints: sixteen. In that respect, the 46-year-old whistler from Valencia by no means said goodbye in style. During Real Mallorca-Rayo Vallecano, he actually left all the cards in his pocket.