Karim Benzema shows he’s not like Cristiano Ronaldo with comment after Chelsea heroics

Karim Benzema has scored 37 goals in 36 games this season and has become Real Madrid’s talisman since Cristiano Ronaldo left the Spanish giants for Juventus in July 2018

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In pictures: Chelsea v Real Madrid

Karim Benzema insists he “doesn’t play football to be the best in the world” after being described as Europe’s leading striker for his heroics on Wednesday evening.

The Frenchman, 34, scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge to help Real Madrid secure a 3-1 victory against Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League clash. The second leg of the quarter-final takes place in the Spanish capital on Tuesday evening.

Benzema’s reaction to praise is different to Cristiano Ronaldo’s. The Manchester United icon confirmed his desire di lui to win the most Ballon d’Ors in history in 2018, as he wants to be remembered as the greatest player of all time.

Benzema is now one of the favorites to win this year’s Ballon d’Or, yet he didn’t seem to enthusiastic about the honor. “I don’t play football to be the best in the world, I play for nights like this,” said the veteran striker after Wednesday evening’s display.

When asked by Piers Morgan what record he’d like to set before retirement in 2018, Ronaldo said: “The most golden balls [Ballon d’Or] in the history of football. I will love it and I think I deserve it … I know I’m one of the greatest ever in the history of football. “

Benzema and Ronaldo forged a famous partnership at Real between 2009 and 2018, winning 16 trophies – including four Champions Leagues. Benzema played the supporting role in the alliance, scoring 192 goals compared to Ronaldo’s tally of 450.







Karim Benzema declared “I play football for nights like this” after his hat-trick beat Chelsea
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Image:

CBS Sports Golazo)

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In the four seasons since Ronaldo’s departure, however, Benzema has found the net 124 times – and there are still several weeks left in the current term. The former Lyon man is enjoying the most prolific campaign of his career di lui to date, scoring 37 goals in 36 games.

“Karim Benzema, if they’re not engraving his name on the Ballon d’Or I’ll be surprised,” said Manchester United hero Rio Ferdinand. “He’s been magic. Last tie, he was magnificent and grabbed a hat-trick. Tonight he’s done the same and got another hat-trick.

“This man made the difference, yes, they got their tactics right with Vinicius [Junior] out on the right and pinning [Andreas] Christensen back. But, he put the chances away as they came and dispatched them beautifully. What a masterclass. “

Ferdinand added: “This is the business end and he [Benzema] is still scoring goals. He has shot his team to the top of the league, they’re 12 points clear. He is the talisman, he is the leader now, and he has stepped out of the shadows of Cristiano Ronaldo.

“We mentioned before the game, having that humility, to be able to sit in the background. As soon as that opportunity came for it to come out of the shadows for this team and take control of it. In all aspects of his game he has gone up another level.

“He is the best number 9 on the planet for me. We can talk about [Robert] Lewandowski, great player. Harry Kane has come back into that form we all knew about, great player. This guy at the moment is another level. He is phenomenal. “

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