Zinedine Zidane calls Karim Benzema the ‘best French striker EVER’ as Real Madrid boss hails his No 9 because he ‘doesn’t just think about scoring goals’
- Zinedine Zidane has called Karim Benzema the best French striker ever
- Benzema scored twice against Athletic Bilbao and has six goals this season
- He is Madrid’s fourth all-time top scorer and record foreign appearance maker
- The No 9 has not played for France since 2015 but has become a club legend
Zinedine Zidane has called Karim Benzema the best French striker of all-time, with the No 9 in the form of his life.
Benzema scored another two goals on Tuesday night in Madrid’s 3-1 win against Athletic Bilbao, taking them level on points with Real Sociedad at the top of LaLiga.
The Frenchman’s six goals place him second in LaLiga’s scoring charts, and Zidane responded without hesitation when asked whether he was the best French forward.
Karim Benzema has been hailed as the best French striker ever by manager Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid boss Zidane (left) said that Benzema’s (right) record for Madrid ‘speaks for itself’
‘For me yes, in addition to what he does, what he shows, he has been at Real Madrid for a long time,’ the Real Madrid boss said.
‘More than 500 games, all the goals, his record. What he has done speaks for itself. For me he is the best, it is very clear.’
Benzema became the foreign player with the most appearances for Los Blancos when he made his 528th outing against Atletico Madrid, overtaking Roberto Carlos.
The 32-year-old is Madrid’s fourth all-time top scorer with 259 goals to his name and has etched himself into club folklore during his 11 years at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But it has not been all plain sailing since his arrival from Lyon in 2009, with the striker dropping out of contention for the France squad under Didier Deschamps.
Benzema has not played for France in more than five years despite his excellent Madrid form
Benzema has not played for his national team in more than five years following allegations of a blackmail scandal involving former teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
Zidane singled out Benzema’s link-up play for particular praise, an attribute he says is just as impressive as the striker’s goalscoring feats.
‘He is a more complete player now than he used to be,’ Zidane said.
‘He is not a pure No.9, he doesn’t just think about scoring goals and that’s what I love about him.
‘He loves to combine with his team-mates and create chances for them but he also knows how to score goals and he does that when the team needs him the most like he did today. That’s what Karim is all about.’
Benzema has taken centre stage at Madrid since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure two years ago and scored 21 goals last season to fire Los Blancos to their 34th Liga title.
Benzema has become a club legend, scoring 21 goals to…
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