Benteke explains his lack of Palace goals: ‘I’m clumsy’

Matt Stead

Christian Benteke insists it is his “clumsy” fault – not that of his Crystal Palace teammates – that his form has dipped this season.

Benteke has scored just two Premier League goals in 28 appearances this season, failing to recapture the form that has seen him score 66 times in his five previous English top-flight seasons.

The Belgian faces a battle to restore our Christian beliefs, but some self-doubt appears to have crept in too.

“In the past I have had just one opportunity on the match and I scored,” he said.

“This year, I feel more involved in the game, I make more effort but I’m not rewarded. I do not say it’s the fault of others, I’m clumsy, lack of lucidity, lack of success too. But I will work.”

The striker was omitted from Roberto Martinez’s recent squad to face Saudi Arabia, and admits his World Cup chances are in the balance.

“I knew it was 50-50, I’m no longer a kid, I also knew the reason – it’s my statistics and not the overall quality of my matches.

“If I look at those who play in my place, I think they’re not in their best shape either. I should be in. In the end, the fact of not being in that squad had both negative and positive effect.

“Negative because I did not make it, even if it was only for one game. The positive was that it allowed me to stay in my club and to be able to work on knowing why I was not taken in. And to address it.

“If I had to miss [the World Cup], it would hurt me but I would recover.

“For my family, my family, my cousins, it would be different. It is also their dream.

“It’s not an individual sport where I’m alone. The more time goes, the more pressure I will feel, because they want it to work again for me, for me to be there.

“They’d see me on TV, with the others, with the team but I’m more motivated than ever.

“Everything that’s happening, it’s just a bonus. I’ll never spit in the soup. From where I came from, what I’ve done is already very good.

“I know I’ll never have Cristiano Ronaldo’s career, I’m not asking for it, but all I want is recognition.”


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