Karim Benzema was often overshadowed by Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale as part of Real Madrid’s fearsome 'BBC' frontline, but claims to have “made it all work”.
The French frontman was acquired by the Blancos in the same summer as a Portuguese superstar arrived in a record-breaking deal.
He was a proven goalscorer in his own right and has enjoyed a productive 10-year career at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Benzema was, however, to find himself playing a support role to Ronaldo, with Bale then joining the Real ranks in 2013.
Benzema saw his value questioned at times, but always worked hard for the collective cause and considers himself to have been the glue which held three ambitious figures together.
The 31-year-old told RMC Sport: “You had a rocket (Bale) and a goalscorer (Ronaldo), and then there was me, the piece that made it all work.”
Benzema added on the changes he had to make to his game after arriving from Lyon: “Here, the finisher was Cristiano.
“I played a different role. I was involved more in the construction of moves and trying to open up spaces.
“For me, he was the best goalscorer even if he played on the left. I moved away to open up space and let him score.”
Benzema enjoyed plenty of memorable moments himself, despite Ronaldo dominating the headlines, with the deadlock opened in a 2018 Champions League final clash with Liverpool as he made Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius pay for a costly error.
“I needed that goal,” he said, as the Blancos ran out 3-1 winners on the night.
“It was one of the best feelings I've had since I was little.”
Benzema also helped Real to European glory in 2017, with arch-rivals Atletico seen off at the semi-final stage thanks in part to one moment of magic from their French forward which saw him evade three defenders on the touchline and help to tee up an effort for Isco.
“That's how I define football,” said Benzema.
“If I'm a fan who goes to the stadium, I'm going to see that, because there are always goals, but things like that don't happen every day.
“In a game like that, against a rival like Atletico, for me it's worth more than a goal. It's the best thing I've done in the Champions League.”