Benzema, Haaland, Mbappe or Ronaldo? Zidane makes his pick
Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane was asked to comment on rumours linking Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo with a summer move to his club after a 2-0 Champions League win over Atalanta, in which Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos were on target.
Los Blancos moved through to the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time since Ronaldo departed in the summer of 2019 with a 3-0 win over the Serie A side.
There remain, however, concerns over the quality of Madrid’s attacking options. Benzema continues to have a strong campaign, having netted 21 times in 31 matches in all competitions. Indeed, his double against Elche at the weekend helped keep them in the title race.
In terms of longevity, though, there are worries that the 33-year-old will soon run out of steam, leading to Madrid being linked with alternate options at centre-forward. Haaland, Mbappe and Ronaldo are among the three favourites.
Zidane has now had his say on who he would like to see leading the line.
“For the moment, we have Karim Benzema. And we want to take advantage of having Karim Benzema,” he told RMC Sport after the midweek win.
“Since he joined Madrid in 2009, he has only improved. We don’t know when he will stop.
“Without speaking of the goal, it’s his overall play that makes him exceptional. Not many players are capable of working with the ball like he does, to make others player and overall not to lose possession.”
Benzema, meanwhile, has put his own future in doubt by suggesting he could return to Lyon in the summer.
Karim Benzema’s 2020/21 record
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‘Real Madrid stars are not grandads’
Zidane was questioned about the ageing nature of his squad, which also included Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric, both of whom are 35.
“We’re not speaking about grandads,” he said. “They’ve got a desire to show that they are still good players. Modric, on the field, you don’t get the impression he’s 35. That the same for everyone.”
Real Madrid will put their chase for Haaland, Mbappe and Ronaldo to one side at the weekend, with a trip to Celta Vigo in La Liga – another opportunity for Benzema to show his worth to the side.