Manchester City must stop Real Madrid dangerman Karim Benzema if they are to reach the Champions League final, midfielder Rodri has warned.
City are due to face the 13-times winners in a semi-final first leg at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, where they will be aiming to reach the final for a second successive year.
However, they will also come up against an in-form Benzema, who is the leading scorer left in the competition with 12 goals, including a hat-trick in the last-16 victory over Paris Saint-Germain and the winner against holders Chelsea in the previous round.
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What has Rodri said about Benzema?
“He is in the best moment of his career,” Rodri told reporters when quizzed on Benzema after City’s 5-1 victory over Watford on Saturday. “He understands every part of the game and is scoring goals, important goals.
“I would say f*cking hell, this guy is amazing in every game and he not only scores goals but makes his team feel comfortable with the ball and as Ancelotti says he is the modern striker in football so we have to be aware of him and all of Real Madrid.
“I played against him for a few years and he is a great player but not only him, in terms of quality they always have that.”
How dangerous are Real Madrid?
City are likely to face a different game to ther quarter-final victory over the Blancos' city rivals Atletico Madrid, which was a tie of few chances that was ultimately decided by Kevin De Bruyne’s first leg strike.
“This is a team that of course have the experience of the competition and wait for their opportunity,” Rodri added. “This is the best thing about them.
“They are not consistent over 90 minutes but are always dangerous. We have to be aware. The first game is here at home so we have to do our best.”
Will City be at full strength?
Joao Cancelo will miss the first leg through suspension and Pep Guardiola is facing an anxious wait over defenders Kyle Walker and John Stones, who both missed the weekend game against Watford.
“Both of them are doubts, we’ll know on Tuesday morning. We’ll decide if we take a risk or not, or if players like Nathan [Ake] feel better,” the City boss said.
“If it was November or December, it’s a problem but with seven games – if Gabriel [Jesus] had to play right back, he’d play right back.”