Karim Benzema was back to his brilliant best for Real Madrid on Sunday afternoon.
The current Ballon d’Or holder has endured a slightly tougher campaign this time around, mainly due to a series of minor injuries.
But Benzema was hard at work over the international break to get back to full fitness – and his unwavering determination paid dividends for Los Blancos against Real Valladolid.
In the space of seven first half minutes, the Frenchman scored a marvellous hat-trick, the third of the goals a superbly executed bicycle-kick.
Read more: Benzema scored seven-minute hat-trick for Real Madrid vs Valladolid
Benzema is now onto 14 La Liga goals for the season, just three fewer than Barcelona superstar Robert Lewandowski.
Not bad, Karim.
What made Benzema’s latest masterclass at the Santiago Bernabeu all the more impressive is the fact he was fasting for Ramadan.
The 35-year-old is a devout Muslim – and is therefore currently not allowed to consume food or drink during daylight hours.
However, one person on social media tried to accuse Benzema of disobeying the Ramadan fasting rules.
They uploaded a picture of the former Lyon striker with a bottle of water in his mouth while sat on the bench.
But it appears the standalone image was misleading in the extreme.
Footage uploaded shortly after the picture did the rounds shows Benzema didn’t consume the water.
Instead, he only used it to relieve the ‘dry mouth’ we all get from strenuous exercise, before spitting it on the floor.
Video: Benzema did NOT disobey Ramadan fast vs Valladolid
Fair play, Karim.
Real Madrid defeated Valladolid by a scoreline of 6-0, Rodrygo Goes, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez the other scorers on the day.
Eden Hazard also made his first La Liga appearance since September – and it was he who assisted Vazquez’s late goal.
But while it was a great day for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, they’re still 12 points behind table-toppers Barcelona with only 11 league games remaining.
La Liga success looks close to impossible this season, although Los Blancos will back themselves to win European Cup number 15.
Real Madrid do battle with Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals and given the Blues’ recent struggles, the Spaniards should go into the tie full of confidence.
Especially with a fully fit Benzema leading the line…