BENZEMA THANKS MOURINHO FOR RESURGENCE

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has credited Jose Mourinho for his recent resurgence.

Last Updated: 01/06/12 at 08:28 Post Comment

Karim Benzema: Has a father-son relationship with Mourinho

Karim Benzema: Has a father-son relationship with Mourinho

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has credited his "father-son" relationship with Jose Mourinho as the reason behind his emergence as one of the top forwards in Europe.

The 24-year-old moved to the Spanish giants from Lyon three years ago after a successful start to his career in France led to him making his debut for the national team aged just 19.

However, he failed to shine in his first season at the Bernabeu under Manuel Pellegrini and was not selected by then France coach Raymond Domenech for the 2010 World Cup.

Pellegrini was sacked after just one season to be replaced by former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Mourinho in May 2010 and it proved to be a turning point for Benzema.

It was not always smooth with Mourinho calling on the player to show a stronger work ethic but such words have had an undoubted effect.

The Frenchman told L'Equipe: "Mourinho talks to me like a father speaks to his son.

"In one of the first training sessions he approached me and said in French: 'How are you?' and then said: 'I hope to leave behind the Benzema of last year'.

"I noticed that he had affection for me. When he came to Madrid I had a bad back, I had put on some weight and was disappointed at not going to the World Cup.

"He told me I must try harder in training. That work has finally paid off."

Benzema admitted he had found the move from Lyon difficult at first and struggled with the expectation.

"When I left Lyon three years ago I was a very young boy and very shy," he said.

"I arrived alone, it was the first time I left my home and Lyon. I had to adapt to a new city and a new team.

"I also had a lot of pressure because I was considered a star and had to prove it now.

"Today I am a player and a more mature person. I am calmer, more serene and physically stronger. I have learned to better control the pressure in big games, I mean 'El Clasico', and Champions League games ".

He has also learned to handle the constant pressure that comes with playing for Real Madrid while describing the fans as "another dimension".

While winning the Ballon d'Or is a personal ambition, Benzema confesses his admiration for Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

He said: "First, he plays every minute of every game. I do not play ninety minutes ever. And then, he has a team around him ... But I love Messi as a great player and I like his game."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

d like to add players who push their team-mates out of the way to celebrate on their own

exhausted
The Ten Most Hated Things In Football

I

f I were Manuel Pellegrini I would keep quiet and hope the Board didn't notice City not winning anything. If he isn't sacked I'd be astonished.

lfcfan80
Pellegrini: I won't be sacked

S

till I suppose it still gives him at least another year in the job. By the time it comes around , he can always make up another excuse. First it was 3 months , then a year .....Next year ? Whats his excuse with Van Persie ?

spud1
Di Maria 'could peak next year'

Footer 365

Neville 'concerned' over Reds form

Gary Neville has admitted that he is "concerned" that a resurgent Liverpool could qualify for the Champions League ahead of Manchester United.

Boro claim top spot as Derby lose

Middlesbrough became the new Championship leaders as they took advantage of Derby's latest slip by beating Millwall 3-0.

Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom: Benteke's late show helps end Villa's long wait for a win

Tim Sherwood recorded his first win as Aston Villa boss as Christian Benteke's late penalty helped beat West Brom 2-1.

Mail Box

Look Away Now Please, Sherwood...

Sherwood's cringeworthiness, Matic's Wembley celebrations, why LVG must show balls - it's all here in your Wednesday afternoon Mailbox...

United's No 2 Isn't That Bad Either...

One mailboxer is getting in a flap about the claim Man Utd would struggle without De Dea, while there's some anger directed at Chelsea...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company