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Karim Benzema: “When Cristiano left Real Madrid, I had to step up”

Karim Benzema told A Bola that he had to assume a leadership role when the Portuguese left Real Madrid: “I had to win games now”

¡Por la inmortalidad! Karim Benzema buscará un récord de Cristiano Ronaldo en Real Madrid

Karim Benzema was awarded the trophy for UEFA player of the year at the Champions League draw ceremony in Istanbul lasy Thursday, the 34-year-old Real Madrid striker’s first major individual accolade. Benzema is also the overwhelming favourite to claim the Ballon d’Or and although he has to wait for individual recognition despite a glittering career at the Bernabéu, the Frenchman is enjoying the moment and attributes his form of late to having to assume responsibility for the team following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018.

“It is a trophy that makes me very excited,” Benzema said of the Ballon d’Or during an exclusive press conference for various media including Portugal’s A Bola. “Why did it take me so long to win individual awards? I don’t know, but I’m a better player now, I play better football. This was the best season of my career. Every time I step onto the pitch I’m not thinking about individual achievements.”

Benzema: “When Cristiano was at Madrid I had a different role”

The Real Madrid striker also analysed the impact of his performances at Real Madrid after Ronaldo left. “When Cristiano was at Real Madrid I had a different role. He helped me a lot and I played more of a supporting role, because when you have a teammate who scores 50 goals a season you have to adapt. When he left I had to step up and I knew that from that day on it was down to me to win games now. The biggest change has been in terms of numbers, but in reality the way of playing has been the same since I was a child. I never changed the way I play football and when I stop having fun I’ll retire,”said the Frenchman.


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