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‘Not just goals,’ Real Madrid boss slams Cristiano Ronaldo when comparing Portuguese with Karim Benzema

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 26: Karim Benzema (C) of Real Madrid celebrates his goal with Royston Drenthe (L) and Cristiano Ronaldo (R) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Tenerife at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 26, 2009 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Elisa Estrada/Real Madrid via Getty Images)

Brilliant Benzema

Considering the significant loss of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, the side have coped well with the Portuguese’s absence. The Spanish capital side have recovered in the league and recently reclaimed the La Liga title.

Much of this has been down to the fantastic form of French striker Karim Benzema. During Ronaldo’s time at the Bernabeu, Benzema became more of a creative player and an enabler of the talismanic figure.

Under many managers, such as Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane, despite the Frenchman playing in the central striking role, he was often used to feed Cristiano Ronaldo and led to the former Manchester United man scoring a prolific amount of goals.

However, since Ronaldo left, Benzema has had to take on the role of being the side’s key scoring figure. Benzema joined Real Madrid from Lyon, the Spanish side identified Benzema as a prolific scorer of goals himself and not specifically for his creative qualities.

It should therefore be no surprise to see the amount of goals which Benzema is now racking up being the more central figure at the club. He finished second only to Lionel Messi in the scoring charts last season.

No other wide players have been able to replicate the goal-scoring form of Ronaldo and have instead been used to help Benzema with creative crosses, through balls and incisive passes. The likes of Marco Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior and Lucas Vazquez have been used in a number of combinations by Zidane to get the best out of his French forward.

‘Not just goals’

Zidane has now gone one step further in support of Benzema. In a recent interview, the former Real Madrid midfielder was asked about a comparison between both Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. The coach replied that the French forward was much more than just goals.

“Karim is decisive because what he does he is doing in a phenomenal way,” said Zidane. “But not only in terms of goals scored. I repeat what I always say about Karim, it’s not just goals. He also plays a lot and allows us to express ourselves with quality.”

“He is a very important player. When he scores even better. He is a very important player for our team.”

‘Not just goals,’ Real Madrid boss slams Cristiano Ronaldo when comparing Portuguese with Karim Benzema

27 October 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Mönchengladbach: Football: Champions League, Group stage, Group B, 2nd matchday, Borussia Mönchengladbach – Real Madrid at the stadium in Borussia-Park. Karim Benzema (r) of Madrid cheers after his goal for the 2:1. Photo: Marius Becker/dpa (Photo by Marius Becker/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Benzema has 11 goals and recorded five assists so far in both La Liga and the Champions League. He scored in the final group game against Borussia Monchengladbach, helping his side to victory and claiming top spot in the group.

Now 33 years of age, Benzema is coming to the end of his time at the top. Real Madrid coped very well, as mentioned, with the departure of Ronaldo, they may find moving on from Benzema much harder.

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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