The Real Madrid forward has reflected on his development as a player ahead of his side's Group D Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund.Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has spoken about his psychological progress since arriving in the Spanish capital. In an interview ahead of Real's trip to Borussia Dortmund, the 24-year-old discussed what he has gained playing under coach Jose Mourinho.
“The coach has worked with me on the mental side of the game. Now I'm stronger in that regard. I've had many ups and downs in Madrid, but I'm still here. Mourinho is a great coach and very supportive,” the France international explained to UEFA.com.
He then went on to give his take on the pressure that players have to deal with.
"Pressure has been part of my life since I was at Lyon, but here it's more intense, because I'm at the best club in the world,” Benzema said. “But I don't feel pressure during games otherwise I'd be paralyzed and unable to play. I forget it by talking to my little brother. Overall I'm quite shy. When people get to know me they realise I like to have fun and I'm always laughing."
Benzema continued by reflecting on Real's efforts in last season's UEFA Champions League, a run to the semifinals that was halted by Bayern Munich in an intense battle.
"Unfortunately we lost to Bayern Munich on penalties, and we were all disappointed, because we thought we could win the competition. But looking back, I think we had a great campaign," Benzema said.
Benzema and his teammates face another top German side on Wednesday, taking on two-time defending Bundesliga champion Borussia Dormund in their third Champions League Group D encounter.
“Borussia Dortmund are a great team," Benzema said. "It'll be a tough game as those against Manchester City and Ajax were. It's up to us to go there and achieve a great result.”