Mesut Ozil has called Karim Benzema the best striker in La Liga after his former team-mate produced a classy finish in El Clasico.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane also paid tribute to the Frenchman after his fine flick opened the scoring against Barcelona.
Zidane’s men won 2-1, with their third straight win over Barcelona putting them top of La Liga.
Now 33, Benzema has seen Real Madrid linked with a host of star strikers including Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.
But he has responded by scoring in seven straight La Liga matches.
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Benzema has 25 goals in 35 games across all competitions in an impressive season.
“The best striker of La Liga showed his class again – my boy Benzi,” wrote Ozil on Twitter.
Benzema: Real Madrid scoring record
Zidane, meanwhile, hailed the striker who is helping a Madrid squad he admits is at the point of exhaustion.
“Yes, in the end this goal is about quality and talent – Karim has a lot of that,” Zidane said of Benzema’s strike.
“I’m happy for him that he scores again.”
Toni Kroos added to the early strike from Benzema and Madrid held on to win despite Oscar Mingueza scoring for Barca in the second half and a late red card for Casemiro.
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Madrid have another huge game on Wednesday as they look to follow up their 3-1 first-leg Champions League quarter-final win over Liverpool.
Zidane added: “There are players with pain again.
“I don’t know how we are going to end the season but we are going to need everyone because we are physically at the limit.
“It’s hard for us to finish the games. But we are here and we are alive.
“We are going to rest well and we are going to see how to do it, how to rest better, and then prepare for Wednesday’s game with Liverpool.
“Nothing’s going to change, a lot is still ahead.
“But you have to enjoy what we did this weekend, because it was two very hard-fought games. We got two good results.”