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The France international says his Real Madrid teammate is the best the sport has ever seen and says they are friends on and off the field

Karim Benzema says he believes his Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo is the best footballer of all time.

The Portuguese forward won the Ballon d'Or last year but debate rages on throughout the world as to whether he or Barcelona rival Lionel Messi is the best player in the world at present.

But the France international insists the former Manchester United man, who has scored 25 goals in 24 league games for Los Blancos this term, is the best footballer ever and says he counts him as a good friend.
 
“He made me dream and he still makes me dream," the striker told Telefoot. "For me, he is the best player of all time. 

"I play with the best player in the world. We get along well on and off the pitch and I learn a lot from him."

The former Lyon star has come under criticism over the last few seasons, but has netted 21 goals in 38 games in all competitions for Carlo Ancelotti's men this term. The striker insists he is happy in the Spanish capital and feels can only move forward as a player.

“I have had difficult times for club and country but I always believed in myself and enjoyed the support of my family," he said in an interview with Telefoot.

“So far, it has been a good season. It was hard, all those critics, it was like a game for them. They judged me on my goals. I never gave up, but it was a long period of time.

"I work, I get experience and I have extraordinary players all around me, so I can only improve."

The Spanish giants already have one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals as they head into Tuesday's meeting with Schalke already 6-1 up on aggregate and the 26-year-old feels there are many formidable opponents they could meet in the last-eight of the competition.

“There is not only Real and Bayern. There is also Chelsea and PSG…We only have to think about our team and rest for now.”

The forward is also looking forward to playing in his first World Cup this summer and believes France can make a good impression on the world stage in Brazil.

“I never had the chance to play a World Cup. It is always in the corner of my mind. We are outsiders, we will try to get there well rested and move along calmly.”

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