Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is “playing better than ever”, according to manager Zinedine Zidane.
The French forward has been in excellent scoring form of late as Real Madrid try and end a disappointing campaign on a high.
Benzema’s red-hot form: Five things you need to know…
- Benzema joined the club from Ligue 1 side Lyon in 2009 for an initial transfer fee of €35 million.
- The forward has gone on to score 222 goals in 462 outings for Madrid in all competitions, averaging a goal every 2.08 games.
- Despite Madrid’s struggles this season, the 31-year-old has scored 30 goals in 50 appearances.
- Benzema sits sixth in Real Madrid’s all-time top-scorer list, 20 goals behind fifth-placed club legend Ferenc Puskás.
- Fun fact: Benzema scored Madrid’s 1000th goal in European Competitions back in 2014 in a 5-1 win against FC Basel.
Madrid surged past seventh-placed Athletic Bilbao Sunday evening as an impressive hat-trick from Benzema secured a 3-0 win for Los Blancos, who are still looking to jump ahead of Atletico Madrid into second place in La Liga before the season is out.
Three second-half goals for Benzema saw the Frenchman break a few records as well as continue his fantastic scoring streak this season.
His 90th-minute strike was his 30th goal in all competitions this season which is the first time he has reached that landmark since the 2011/12 season.
The 31-year-old has also incredibly scored each of Real Madrid’s last eight goals, beating former club striker Fernando Morientes’ club record of six in a row set in 1999.
To make things even sweeter for Benzema, he is currently sitting on 21 league goals this season, two more than former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored 19 goals in 27 league outings this term.
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“I’m not surprised!”
One man who has worked closely with Benzema and knows just what he is capable is Zidane, who returned to the club this season less than a year after leaving the Bernabeu.
Speaking to reporters after Madrid’s 3-0 win over Bilbao, Zidane said that he wasn’t surprised by Benzema’s form and that he is currently producing the best form he has seen.
“He is playing better than I have ever seen, since I returned to the club,” said Zidane. “For me, with eight goals in a row, he is the best No.9 at the moment.
“However, I am not surprised by his performances – as I know his is capable of it.”