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‘Benzema is like Ronaldo for Real Madrid’ – Zidane hails French forward after 50th Champions League goal

6:42 AM EST 11/7/19
Cristiano Ronaldo Karim Benzema
The Blancos boss saw a fellow countryman move above Alfredo Di Stefano on a notable chart in his most recent European outing for the Spanish giants

Karim Benzema is “now like Cristiano Ronaldo in the history of this club”, says Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, with the Frenchman having hit 50 Champions League goals for the Blancos.

A notable landmark was reached on Wednesday as Real eased their way to a crushing 6-0 victory over Galatasaray.

Rodrygo stole the show at the Santiago Bernabeu, as the Brazilian teenager bagged a hat-trick, but Benzema contributed a brace of his own.

In reaching a half-century of continental goals, the 31-year-old has edged ahead of Madrid legend Alfredo di Stefano – who has 49 to his name.

Only Raul and Ronaldo sit above Benzema on a star-studded chart, with a man who faced plenty of questions when operating alongside a Portuguese icon having rediscovered a spark since stepping out of that shadow.

Fellow countryman Zidane is a big fan, with the Blancos boss telling reporters: “His numbers speak for themselves. 

“Those that like football know he's a quality player. He's important for the team, for attacking... he does it very well. 

“The only thing that's changed since Cristiano Ronaldo [left for Juventus] is that Karim is more mature. He's a father and, well, many things have happened lately which are reflected on the pitch. 

"I'm very happy for Karim. It's true that he's overtaken a legend of this club like Alfredo di Stefano. 

“He's now like Cristiano Ronaldo in the history of this club. 

“He's doing something amazing and we simply have to enjoy it and make the most of it.”

Benzema, who hit 30 goals for Real last season and has another nine to his name this term, has sought to play down the importance of reaching another milestone and his standing in the Spanish capital.

He told the club’s official website: "I am no legend. When I signed for the club I never thought I'd get to this point and I am so happy.

"I try to help the team and be at my best, I want to continue to help. I feel very confident, if I can help my team-mates by talking to them out there, then I will, that is down to my experience in this club."