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Marcelino on Benzema: “For me, he is the best player in our league”

Athletic’s coach spoke to the press ahead of tomorrow’s Copa clash

Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club - La Liga Santander Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Athletic Club head coach Marcelino spoke to the media ahead of his side’s Copa del Rey quarter-final clash vs Real Madrid tomorrow night at San Mames. Marcelino spoke about his side’s tactical plan, and had plenty of praise for his opponent.

READ: Carlo Ancelotti’s pre-game quotes

Marcelino lauded Real Madrid as “the most in form team in La Liga”, and also discussed what might be different this time for his team after their previous losses against Ancelotti’s men this season.

“If we didn’t get what we deserved in our last matches against them, it was down to a a lack of precision in front of goal, because in all other facets of play we competed against them on equal terms,” Marcelino said. “We need to do better in the final third and with the help of our fans, who will surely be there in full voice, we can get through to the semi-finals.

“We’ll try at all costs to stop their quick counter-attacks. We need to play a perfect game and make sure they don’t.”

Marcelinho also had plenty of praise for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema:

“For me, he is the best player in our league so far this season by far, either in terms of participation in the game or by definition. For show, I would like to beat Real Madrid with him in the lineup, but there are more possibilities for us if he doesn’t play”.