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

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."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer news: Tottenham strike deal for Montpellier midfielder Benjamin Stambouli

Tottenham have agreed a fee with Montpellier for defensive midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, according to the French club.

Transfer news: Chelsea confirm agreement with AC Milan for two-year Fernando Torres loan

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres will have a medical at AC Milan on Saturday ahead of an agreed two-year loan deal.

Europa League: Roberto Martinez happy Everton start and finish at home

Roberto Martinez is happy with the way the fixtures have worked out for Everton in their tough Europa League draw.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property