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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid's Benzema talks himself up after PSG hat-trick

Passing Alfredo di Stefano and Raul in respective club goalscoring standings, Karim Benzema feels this may be his best year at Real Madrid.

Update:
Real Madrid's Benzema talks himself up after PSG hat-trick
AFP

Karim Benzema has hinted this could be his best season in a Real Madrid shirt, following his side's knockout win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Big talk from PSG-killer Benzema

The talismanic Benzema scored a hat-trick in Madrid's epic comeback from a two-goal aggregate deficit, which meant he surpassed Alfredo di Stefano as the club's third-highest goalscorer with his total of 309, including 67 Champions League goals – now ahead of Raul.

While the 34-year-old was sceptical on whether Wednesday night's win was his best game for Madrid, this season is providing some individual enthusiasm.

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"I don’t know if it's my best game because I also remember the Champions League final against Liverpool," Benzema told Real Madrid TV.

"If it is, it's because of the goals, because there are three in a very important game – a comeback, we trailed 2-0 in the tie. It was a very big game, but also for the players.

"It could be my best season because every year I want to do more than the previous one and I'm on a good path now.

"I am happy and proud, but it's for the whole team. It's everyone's effort. The team, the people who were on the field, the people who weren't but help their team-mates as well. Also the coaches, the fans, all of that, it was a magical night for everyone."

Only scoring five league goals in Cristiano Ronaldo's final season at Madrid in 2017-18, Benzema has cracked 20 in each season since, with 20 in 24 LaLiga appearances this season and 30 goals in all competitions.

This is on top of the sizeable role Benzema and Luka Modric's interplay has had in Madrid's build-up play, during and after Ronaldo's time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Di Stefano record surpassed

With all this in mind, the magnitude of passing Di Stefano's goals tally is not lost on Benzema.

"It's a dream because [Di Stefano] is a Madrid legend," the forward said. "I remember my first day here when he was with the president, and he gave me a hug. He is a legend. Being in his place makes me very proud, very happy and gives me more strength to go higher.

"These are very important figures. I signed for this club, firstly, to win titles. I didn't plan to score goals like I'm doing now, but I always wanted to be inside the heads of people, of the Madridistas one day, and I think I'm on the right track."

The LaLiga leaders travel to the Balearic Islands this weekend, to face Mallorca on Monday, before next Sunday's Clásico with Barcelona.

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