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'Great players are always criticised' - Benzema not affected by Madrid jeers

9:18 PM GMT+4 17/04/2018
Karim Benzema Real Madrid
Blancos fans have given the France international a hard time for much of the season, but he says that comes with being a player at his level

Karim Benzema is not letting the jeers directed at him from Real Madrid fans get him down, saying "people have always criticised great players".

Benzema has had a difficult season so far with Madrid, scoring just five times in 26 La Liga appearances.

That figure was made to look even worse on Sunday when defensive midfielder Casemiro moved level with Benzema, despite playing a game less than the French striker.

As a result of his poor form, Benzema has had to contend with jeers from sections of the typically demanding Madrid crowd on numerous occasions over the last year.

But he is trying not to focus on them, confident that he is still a "great player".

"I play football and I try to help my teammates and to win everything there is to win," Benzema told Vanity Fair.

"What I don't like is when people attack me when I play well, even if I don't score. I play for the people who value what I do on the pitch.

"Those that come to the stadium to whistle, let them whistle. I'm not going to change their opinion.

"People have always criticized great players. We [footballers] sell newspapers. I don't need to read the press to know when I've have a bad game."

Madrid president Florentino Perez helps make such difficult times easier for Benzema, who says the 71-year-old feels like a member of his family.

"It was a dream to meet someone like him," Benzema said. "He's very calm and very friendly.

"He asked me if I wanted to play for Real Madrid and I said yes. I gave him my word, and that's how we've always been.

"He is behind me in the good times and the bad times. He is the club president, but to me he is also like a member of my family. That's how I feel."