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Benzema: “I don’t think there’s Benze-dependence at Real Madrid”

The striker was the first player to give a press conference this Champions League season.

Real Madrid CF v RC Celta de Vigo - LaLiga Santander Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Karim Benzema spoke to the press on Tuesday evening, ahead of Real Madrid’s opening Champions League match away at Inter. He discussed a range of topics, starting with an analysis of this year’s competition. He said: “For me, the Champions League is the competition with the most pressure. I don’t think we’re behind any other team. But, in football nowadays any team can beat you on their night. We have a good team and we’ll fight to win this Champions league. For us, as always, the Champions League is very important.”

Benzema’s focus is very much on winning a title for Real Madrid, as he explained when asked about individual awards such as the Ballon d’Or and when asked if he feels there is too much reliance on him to score the team’s goals. “All players would like to win [a Ballon d’Or] some day and me too. But, what we do with as the team is more important. For me, it’s about working hard. I feel better every year because I look after myself well. So, I feel well on the pitch. By working hard on the training pitch, I think you then see that in the matches. But no, I don’t think [there is Benze-dependence]. We’re a strong team. I just try to help my team, as I’ve been doing with assists and goals. We need to win something. But, that comes through the whole team.”

The striker continued that messaging when asked if Real Madrid’s forwards need to do more to help stop Los Blancos leaking so many goals. He replied: “I don’t think it’s a problem about forwards or defenders. We have to work as a team. The forwards can work defensively, but we also need to score goals. I think it’s a problem for all of the players.”

Benzema on Vinícius

With Vinícius stepping up and helping out the Real Madrid attack, Benzema was asked about the young Brazilian and was even reminded of the controversy when his frustration away at Mönchengladbach last year was recorded. On that, Benzema said: “I’ll speak sincerely. What matters to me now is that Vinícius is playing well and scoring goals. He’s a young player who now has some experience in this club. He is scoring goals, but he also helps us with other things through his speed. I think he’ll help us all season. If I can help him more then I will do that. I believe in him. He’s a top player.”

Benzema on his bandaged hand

Finally, the No.9 explained what the issue is with his right hand, which is still injured and which he wears bandaged every match. “I did have an operation. But, then you’re supposed to be out two months. I didn’t want that and wanted to keep playing with my teammates. Then I hurt myself again and I’ve not yet had time to stop again for another operation.”