Karim Benzema reveals Cristiano Ronaldo inspired his success this season with Real Madrid

 

Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrates with family and the UEFA Champions League trophy after their sides victory during the UEFA Champions League final match between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid at Stade de France on May 28, 2022 in Paris, France.

Karim Benzema has praised former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo after his own stunning season for Real Madrid


Benzema has helped Real to triumphs in both LaLiga the Champions League  this season, scoring 44 in 46 along the way - numbers of which Ronaldo himself would be proud - and believes he has what it takes to win his first Ballon d'Or title this year. 


But after spending the majority of his Real career in the shadow of the great Ronaldo, Benzema has revealed that the Portuguese forward is responsible for his continued success late in his career.

The French forward told Onze Mondial how he analysed everything about Ronaldo's performances during the nine years they spent together at the Spanish giants, but admitted he could never truly replicate his former team-mate's feats.

He said: 'When I watched him, I tried to understand everything he did: the goals, the shots, the passes, the ball controI. 

'I dissected everything about Ronaldo. That’s why I can say: it’s impossible to achieve the same.'

And it has certainly worked for Benzema, who managed 15 goals in the Champions League alone this season, almost single-handedly dragging his side into the final at times.

Ronaldo's influence was perhaps most prevalent when Benzema displayed the confidence of a player with five Ballon d'Or awards to his name to put a Panenka penalty past Ederson in the first leg of Real's semi-final heavyweight clash with Manchester City. 

The Frenchman backed himself to win his first Ballon d'Or, saying: 'Because I'm having a great season, I think. I was present during many important matches, I managed differences. 

'All this makes people recognise my performance. And then, I was consistent throughout the season.'

And when asked whether he would vote for himself, he added: 'Yes, of course, because I love my game, I love what I do on the pitch. I play the football that I always wanted to play. 

'The way I play on the pitch represents my vision of football. For example, if I saw another player doing what I do on a pitch, I would vote for them.'

Benzema's scintillating form this season has earned him another call-up to the French national side, with Les Bleus beginning their UEFA Nations League campaign at home against Denmark, before facing Croatia and Austria.

As well as scoring Los Blancos' 1,000th Champions League goal, he is also now joint second on Real Madrid's all-time goalscoring list, with 323 alongside legend Raul, and has played the sixth-most games in the club's history with 605.

 

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