Is Karim Benzema the deadliest finisher in Europe? Dissecting the data behind the world’s best goalscorers

Karim Benzema has been ruthless in the Champions League

After one of Karim Benzema’s 10 goals during the Champions League knockouts, someone on BT Sport declared we were watching “the best finisher in the world” (I forget who or when, but I think the quote was rounded off with a “Fletch”).

It is hard to argue with this statement. Benzema has had an incredible season, scoring 44 goals in 45 games, including 15 in the Champions League which puts in reach Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 17 in a single campaign – Benzema scored hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea, and it is not unimaginable that he might leave Saturday’s final against Liverpool with the match ball under his arm and Ronaldo’s record too.

But finishing is different to goalscoring. The best finisher in the world does not necessarily score the most goals, but makes the very most of the chances they have. If every forward in Europe had exactly the same chances this season, would Benzema have scored the most goals?

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