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Karim Benzema: “I studied Ronaldo to get better”

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By Martin Graham | 3rd Jun 2022

Real Madrid and French national team striker Karim Benzema has admitted that he looked up to Cristiano Ronaldo to improve his game.

As talented as the former Olympique Lyonnais youth product is, he went under the radar as the least effective of Madrid’s famed BBC trio. Benzema, who is now preparing to help France defend their Nations League title, noted that he had to look to Ronaldo while the Portuguese was at Madrid in order to improve.

“When I watched what he did, I tried to concentrate on his movements: the dribbling, the finishing, the passing, his ball handling, I dissected everything about him,” Benzema told Onze Mondial.

“But, then it’s impossible to achieve the same thing.”

The 34-year-old striker has been the best player in the world this season and is the odds-on favourite to win the 2022 Ballon d’Or.

He finished as LaLiga’s top scorer and second top assister as Madrid reclaimed the league title from Atlético de Madrid, the 35th in their history. He also finished with the most goals in the UEFA Champions League as Madrid cruised to a record-extending 14th title at the expense of Liverpool.

His performances forced the French national team to fold and reintegrate him back into the team last year during the Euro 2020 tournament after the sex tape scandal that led to his banishment.

He repaid them by scoring in the final of the UEFA Nations League to help France win the second edition of the tournament in October 2021.

Benzema added that he is still looking to win a lot more with both the French national team and Real Madrid after the haul of four combined trophies from both teams in the just concluded season.

“I still have a lot of things in my head. I want to win more titles, more Champions Leagues. And with the national team, the World Cup. That’s all I have as a dream.”

He is now preparing to take on Denmark alongside the rest of his teammates in their first match in the Nations League. They will be doing it without Didier Deschamps, however.

The manager lost his father earlier in the week and had to leave the camp to tend to the family obligations.

Despite it being a sad week for the team, Benzema, alongside Kylian Mbappe, will be pushing the team to a win against Denmark, who are also their group stage opponents on the 2022 World Cup.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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