Spain defender Arbeloa hails France's Benzema: He's the king of the jungle

The right-back has explained that only people who get to train with the former Lyon striker on a daily basis can fully appreciate his unique understanding of the game
Spain defender Alvaro Arbeloa has heaped praise on France forward Karim Benzema ahead of their Euro 2012 quarter-final meeting in Donetsk, describing his Real Madrid team-mate as "the king of the jungle".

Benzema has yet to get off the mark in the tournament but Arbeloa feels that for all of Les Bleus' attacking options, the former Lyon forward is the principal threat to La Roja's hopes of progressing to the last four on Saturday night.

"They are a really balanced team with a lot of talent up front," the right-back told EFE.

"Logically, a lot of the attention is on Benzema, [Franck] Ribery and, with the form he's in, [Samir] Nasri. They're game-changers.

"But at the moment Benzema's the king of the jungle. Karim is one of the best players in the world today and the people who are lucky enough to see him every day are even more aware that nobody has his intelligence for the game.”

Arbeloa, meanwhile, also revealed that he has France in the Spanish squad's Euro 2012 sweepstakes.

"I hope they don't get there!" the former Liverpool man joked upon being reminded of the draw.

Spain's eagerly-awaited clash with France will kick off at 20:45CET.