Benzema works for Cristiano Ronaldo, criticising him for a lack of goals is not logical - Effenberg

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Real Madrid's France international striker has seen his value called into question this season, but his detractors baffle a Bayern Munich legend

Critics of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema baffle Bayern Munich legend Stefan Effenberg, with the Frenchman having accepted a support role to Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Blancos forward is enduring his least productive season in eight years, with the target found just nine times across all competitions in 2017-18.

A supposed dip in form has seen him become a target for terrace taunts once again at Santiago Bernabeu, with questions being asked of a man who has plundered 189 goals across nine campaigns.

Zinedine Zidane has admitted that his fellow countryman is short on confidence this term, but Effenberg believes detractors are missing the point as Benzema has sacrificed himself for the good of superstar colleague Ronaldo – who has broken the 40-goal barrier again.

The former Germany international said to AS ahead of Real’s Champions League semi-final clash with Bayern: “Why is Benzema criticised so much in Spain?

“He plays with Cristiano and does not stop working for him. 

“Criticising him for a lack of goals when he has Cristiano next to him does not seem very logical to me.”

Effenberg believes comparisons can be drawn between Benzema and Bayern forward Thomas Muller, with a World Cup winner at the Allianz Arena having taken on a similar role in support of prolific team-mate Robert Lewandowski.

He added: “Look at Muller. Before, he scored 20 per season, now he gets less. 

“The reason? Because he works for Lewandowski, who scores more thanks to Muller.”

Karim Benzema supports Cristiano Ronaldo Stefan Effenberg

Benzema may yet have a big role to play against Bayern, with Real looking for inspiration from anywhere as they chase down a third successive Champions League crown.

They boast star turns all over the field, with Effenberg conceding that they have the strongest of spines – with captain Sergio Ramos setting the tone as a dogged performer who is prepared to do anything in pursuit of victory.

“I would not have liked to face him,” Effenberg said of the Blancos skipper.

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“I do not lie when I say that Madrid would not have won so many titles without Ramos. 

“The same goes for Toni Kroos. His signing for Madrid helped him to give the final pass to the world elite. 

“Ramos, Kroos and Cristiano form a backbone that, if performing at 100 per cent, will require Bayern to get the most out of themselves.”

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