'Benzema the world's best centre-forward in the last 10 years' - former Real Madrid team-mate Mascarell

Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2019-20
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The midfielder has fond memories of his time with the French striker and believes he will help Luka Jovic succeed in the Spanish capital

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been hailed as "the world's best centre-forward" in the last decade by former team-mate Omar Mascarell.

Mascarell joined the Spanish giants in 2010 and became a regular for the Castilla side before making his only first-team appearance in the Copa del Rey in 2013.

The midfielder was soon sent on loan to Sporting Gijon and Eintracht Frankfurt before Schalke signed him on a permanent deal in 2018.

But Mascarell spent enough time at the Santiago Bernabeu to get to know the stars who were blocking his path to the first team and he has fond memories of Benzema in particular.

While the 31-year-old has gone through rough spells in recent years, he has had a solid start to the new campaign with two goals and an assist from two matches in La Liga, and Mascarell remains convinced of his quality as a striker.

"Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world," the 26-year-old told Goal and Spox. "After all that I've seen at this club, nothing impresses me as quickly.

"In my first training session with the first team, I played with Mesut Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos in a team. That was absolutely mad.

"As a young player from the club's own youth system, you have almost no chance against such superstars. 

"Karim Benzema maybe impressed me the most. For me, he is the world's best centre-forward in the past 10 years, but also an incredibly nice and down to earth guy who always helps young players and gives them advice. That's why everyone at Real Madrid loves him."

Madrid brought in another striker in the close-season, luring Luka Jovic to the Spanish capital in a €70 million (£62m/$79m) move from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Jovic, 21, is being used as a backup option for Benzema in the early stages of the season, having been brought off the bench in both of Madrid's Liga games. 

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But Mascarell believes his former team-mates will get along well together in the long term.

"Luka will learn a lot from Karim, I'm sure. He is still very young, so you have to be patient with him," he said. "He is just coming to a new country with a new language and new culture. Not everyone can handle the pressure at Real Madrid.

"I wish for him to succeed. He has the abilities to do it, I've rarely seen such a striker at his age. I'm sure he'll be worth the fee the club paid for him."