Benzema: ‘Real Madrid second to nobody in Champions League’

Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema insists Real Madrid are not dependent on him as they prepare to face Inter in the Champions League. ‘We are second to nobody.’

It kicks off tomorrow at San Siro at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT).

France international striker Benzema was in the press conference alongside coach Carlo Ancelotti to present the opening game of a group that also includes Sheriff and Shakhtar Donetsk.

“Real Madrid are a very strong team,” he said when asked if the side was too dependent on his goals and leadership qualities.

“What I need to do is try to help my team with assists and goals. We have to win something and that is a collective effort.

“It’s not just the defenders who work hard, we all have to contribute, play together and win. We could be even more attacking, but we are trying to improve in training.

“The Champions League is a different competition and we must try to do everything to win games. We are here and must face every match with the utmost concentration.”

It’s a very different Real Madrid to the one with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, something Benzema acknowledges.

“That was a different time, different players. Those years were full of goals and I think we’ll always remember that era. Eden Hazard and Vinicius are two great players, we work together to help the team to win.

“Vinicius is very young, but he is gaining experience. He’s very quick, already scored this season and I believe in him.”

Inter and Real Madrid are the favourites to get through this group, although Roberto De Zerbi’s Shakhtar Donetsk might have something to say about that.

When it comes to identifying the favourites to win the Champions League outright, that is a little trickier.

“The Champions League is the most important European competition and we are second to nobody,” added Benzema.

“Any team could win, there are no favourites. We have a good team and will try to win this trophy.”

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