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Hazard: "Benzema currently the best striker in the world"

Having shared a dressing room with Karim Benzema for four months, Eden Hazard is convinced the French man is currently the world's most in-form striker.

Hazard no se conforma: "Siempre se puede hacer mejor".
VIRGINIE LEFOUR AFP

Eden Hazard has offered Karim Benzema glowing praise, hailing his new Real Madrid team mate as “the best striker in the world”.

The Belgian international, who was speaking ahead of his country’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Cyprus on Tuesday, has shared a dressing room with Benzema for four months since joining Madrid from Chelsea in the summer.

And in that time, Benzema, who has had one of his finest starts to a season at the Bernabéu, netting 11 goals in 15 games, has convinced his new strike partner Hazard that he is currently the most in-form forward in world football.

“After having played with him for three or four months, I think he is currently the best striker in the world. But besides his role as striker, he makes others better," said Hazard at a press conference in Belgium (via EFE).

Karim Benzema

Hazard “sorry” for Benzema over France exile

Hazard’s comments come amid growing calls for the Lyon-born striker to be recalled to the France national team. Benzema has not played for Les Bleus since 2015 because of his alleged involvement in the blackmail of former international team mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape. 

With French federation president Noël Le Graët claiming that Benzema’s “time with France is over”, the Real Madrid striker called for the executive to allow him play for one of the countries for which he is eligible in a recent twitter message.

Asked about his Real Madrid team mate's forced exile from international football, Hazard stated: “I’m sorry for him.”

“But it's always easier to play against a team that Benzema is not in,” he added.

Eden Hazard smiles during a press conference in Tubize.

Hazard: Real Madrid can still improve

Hazard’s underwhelming start to his Madrid career had coincided with a rather sombre season’s opening for Los Blancos. However Zinedine Zidane’s side have finally gotten into their stride, winning four and drawing once in their last five games since the shock defeat to Mallorca on October 19.

Across those five fixtures Madrid have scored an impressive 16 goals and kept five clean sheets. However, Hazard believes there is still room for improvement.

"You can always do better, of course. I think that with Real Madrid, for a month, everything is going very well. We won matches and the team is progressing well, which is also easier for me.

“I am in a good dynamic and I have to continue like this," said Hazard, who has scored just one goal and provided four assists in 11 games for his new club.