Zidane Speaks About The Importance Of Benzema

Former Real Madrid player and manager Zinedine Zidane has heaped praise on the Karim Benzema for his selfless and unstinting nature on the football pitch. The forward, who has come under serious scrutiny by his own fans for not being amongst the goals often, has been backed and lauded by his former boss.

Benzema has often been overshadowed by the presence of star players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Isco. He has been severely criticised by Los Blancos’ fans for not having notched a goals tally that is usually expected from a number 9.

The 30-year-old only amassed five league goals last campaign, after a relatively poor 11-goal season the year before. In contrast to the 24 LaLiga goals he had scored in the 2015/16 term, he looked like a shadow of himself.

However, Zidane, who won nine trophies as Madrid coach in a period of just two and a half years, believes the striker did not underperform. Once again, he found himself supporting Benzema’s cause.

Speaking to UEFA, the French mastermind said, 'Karim was important for the balance of the side in terms of how I wanted the team to attack.'

'He helped to implement our possession game by playing his teammates in. He makes himself available and is a real team player,' he added.

Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, Benzema has started the season on a strong note. He has netted four goals in three games. Should he continue this form, the Galacticos will undoubtedly boost their title challenge and pile more pressure on the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Apart from his daunting presence in the box, physicality and finishing abilities, the Frenchman is someone who reads the game extremely well. He buys time for wingers, starts counter-attacks, draws defenders out of their lines in order to provide space for a teammate on the ball and is one of the safest passers around.

Real Madrid travel to the San Mames Stadium to face-off against Athletic Bilbao on 16 September, before starting their Champions League defence against AS Roma four days after that league fixture.


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