Benzema: "Now Cristiano's not here it's up to me to supply the goals"
Karim Benzema spoke to Real Madrid TV about his role: "Now I'm more alone up front and when crosses are put in, I have to be first to them. That's what's changed".
Karim Benzema was interviewed on Real Madrid TV's La Tertulia Magazine this evening. The French striker was joined on set by former team mates Xabi Alonso and Álvaro Arbeloa. Xabi is now coaching Madrid's Under-16s while Arbeloa is also back at the club as an ambassador.
Moment of form: “I feel really happy and comfortable at this club, I hope it continues that way”.
You certainly look happy out on the pitch: “I'm always happy out on the pitch because having a ball at my feet is what makes me feel good. And when I am scoring goals and setting them up for my team mates, I'm even happier”.
Ten goals so far this season: “I feel good, you can tell by how I am out on the pitch. I'm at a good level, I feel strong, motivated and full of ambition. This is a very important season for all of us. I think we're better now, we're playing as a team, defending and attacking together and we're having more luck in front of goal than before".
You're always being asked to step forward and lead the team: "They always ask me for more. Madrid is the best club in the world. Everyone always wants more from a striker - more goals, more touches, more assists, it's normal. I'm more motivated than ever to make it a great year for us".
Reference in attack
More responsibility: "A little bit more now that Cristiano has gone; now he's not here to bring us goals so it's up to me to do that. I feel very motivated and I'm ready to take on the task".
202 goals for Real Madrid: "That makes me feel very happy and very proud. When I look back, I can see everything I've done at Real Madrid; it's involved a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hard work. I've been through sad times, happy times. But I'm as motivated as ever".
How many goals have you set yourself as this season's objective? “We're going to try to score more goals. The more you score, the trophies will follow”.
Your personal record is 32 goals in the 2011-12 season. How many are you hoping to score this season? “I try and score or set up someone else to score in every game. I don't set myself figures to reach”.
I've been told you like the number 35... “(Laughs) Of course but that's something personal. When I go out onto the pitch, all I think of is scoring goals and providing assists”.
One of the captains: "It means a lot of things. We have the first captain - Sergio, who is very good at the job. He gives me a lot of confidence. Out on the pitch I talk to all of my team mates, if I can help someone out, I will".
Sergio Ramos: "He's been our leader for quite some time now. Since he came to the club, he's been very good for us".
Personal style: "I like one or two-touch football, always with movement - either quickly or calmly, depending on the situation, the opponents - a lot of things. There's a lot of things to consider before the ball arrives at your feet".
Famous goal against Depor
Guti's backheel assist at Riazor: "That's the kind of football that everyone wants to play but not everyone can. Guti is a genius. He knew, without even looking, that I was just behind him and he gave me the ball. I'd bet if you showed that to someone who doesn't even like football, they would enjoy watching it".
Future in coaching? "Why not? I love football, but it's a different kind of job. Right now I don't know but it's something to think about".
Solari: "Amazing. He's looking the part. Apart from being a coach, like Zidane, he was also a great player at Madrid and he knows a lot about football. He likes the team to have a lot of possession, attack quickly, to be clam on the ball... He's a good coach for us. Now we're doing well, we're going to continue this way".
Bale: "What can I say? For me he is an incredibly powerful player, with great speed and a great left foot. When he's physically in form, he really helps us a lot. He's a star, he's different, he has his own ways of doing things; with confidence, like everyone else, he's very good".