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'Benzema is one of the best No. 9s' - Werner admits Germany wary of 'extremely dangerous' France forward line

14:54 BST 12/06/2021
Euro 2020 Top 100 Karim Benzema
The Chelsea forward says the Real Madrid striker will be tough to contain when he combines with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe

Timo Werner has praised France's Karim Benzema as one of the best strikers in the world. 

Werner and Germany will come up against world champions France on Tuesday in their opening game of Euro 2020.

It will be Benzema's first appearance at an international tournament since the 2014 World Cup. He was exiled from the France team after his alleged role in a plot to blackmail Mathieu Valbuena and for accusing coach Didier Deschamps of "bowing to racists" by leaving him out of the Euro 2016 team.

What has been said?

After scoring 30 goals for Real Madrid last season, the 33-year-old has been welcomed back into the squad and Werner says France will be even more dangerous adding him to an attack with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.

"It certainly doesn't make France worse! Benzema is one of the best No 9s in the world," he told a press conference. "The trio Benzema-Griezmann-Mbappe, if they play together like that, is of course extremely dangerous and world-class."

He added: "Of course you learn something from a striker like Benzema. Just because he has achieved a lot, but also because of his quality. For me, he is incredible with the ball, the way he dribbles, the way he moves, the way he finishes.

"I think he's like Roberto Firmino at Liverpool, getting the ball early, distributing and still being quick with his qualities in the penalty area. With Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo, he forms the top three centre-forwards for me."

What about Werner's role for Germany?

While Benzema is starting games again for France, Chelsea forward Werner has fallen down the pecking order with Germany.

Serge Gnabry has been preferred by Joachim Low as Werner has dropped to the bench and has not started a game for the national team since last November. 

"Maybe I'm a bit behind the starting XI, but that's not bad either. I'm not a player who sits in the stands with his arms folded and sulks," he said.

"I put myself at the service of the team. We have a lot of players in the squad who all deserve to play from the start. It's a tournament and we want to be successful as a team.

"Of course I want to play, but it's normal at this level to come off the bench sometimes. It's important to show the coach that you can then help the team."

Who else is in Germany's group?

After taking on France on June 15, Germany will face Portugal four days later. They will then round off the group stage with a match against Hungary in Munich on June 23.

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