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Benzema: “I like playing with Vinicius, he listens and works hard”

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The chemistry between the young Brazilian and his French mentor has been crucial to Madrid’s success in the final third

Ajax v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

It happened, yet again, the Vinicius / Benzema one-two combo devastated another opposing defense. In preseason, one often saw phots of Benzema with his arm around the young Brazilian. The chemistry has been there since day one and since Santiago Solari entrusted young Vinicius with significant minutes, Benzema has thrived. The Brazilians dynamism, his direct nature, and his youthful exuberance and overall ingenuity has brought a different facet to the Madrid attack. Paired with the elegant link up play of Karim Benzema, the two form one of Europe’s most lethal duo’s. Benzema, who is 13 years older than Vinicius, has acted as a mentor or older brother figure since the Brazilians arrival. Vinicius has admitted it himself, “Benzema is a player who has helped me a lot since I arrived in Madrid. He goes out of his way to help me and the team win,” the Brazilian mentioned when speaking to reporters after the match.

Since the Sevilla match, where Vinicius earned his first starting berth, Benzema has scored 7 goals and produced 1 assist in the 8 matches that have followed. It is no coincidence that his uptick in form has coincided with the Brazilian’s emergence within the team. After the Ajax match, where Benzema scored the opening goal off an assist from Vinicius, Benzema spoke with reporters in the mixed zone and was asked about the Brazilian: “I like playing with Vinicius, he is a player who listens, takes in advice, and works very hard. I am in good form and wish to continue like this”. Following those comments, Benzema was quick to brush off any worries about a potential injury, “I actually got a knock in the first 5 minutes of the game. It hurt, but it isn’t too bad now. I’ll rest and should be good for the weekend”, he concluded.