Former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was recently interviewed by talkSPORT where he praised Karim Benzema during his time in charge at the club.
“Benzema in Madrid was a bad boy. He was a kid that arrived in the previous season from Lyon. He was 19 when he went for Madrid and it was too much for him at the time.”
“Progressively, he was an amazing player. We speak about Harry [Kane] for example and look to Karim and lots of similar qualities. He’s the kind of striker who if he doesn’t score lots of goals, he still plays amazing for the team. Karim is a fantastic player.”
“When I say bad boy I say he was a young guy, not married, not with kids and the family life. He’s very stable and mature. He thinks about football and thinks about winning and thinks about being a legend with that club, which he already is.”
“He’s probably the next captain when Ramos leaves. Karim becomes a Real Madrid icon. What he did when Cristiano Ronaldo leaves, everybody thought now they have a big problem.”
“There was no big problem because Karim was there and was taking control of that attacking power for Los Blancos. I love him and he knows that and I hope I could give him something in that time we spent together. Three years. I’m pretty sure I gave him something.”
Benzema has taken control of the Real Madrid offense in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence as Mourinho pointed out. In Real’s LaLiga-winning campaign in 2019-20, Benzema scored the second-highest total with 21 goals. This past season, he scored 23 goals and was third in total goals scored.
He is no doubt a Real Madrid legend and one of the leaders of the club at this point and his contributions domestically have earned him a spot back in the international spotlight with France in this summer’s EUROs.