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Menez: Benzema is still shutting people up after ten years at Real Madrid

19:14 BST 18/10/2019
Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2019-20
The former France team-mates have had contrasting careers, but the Madrid man is still a model of consistency and hard work in Menez' eyes

Karim Benzema is still shutting his critics up, ten years into his career at Real Madrid, according to former international team-mate Jeremy Menez.

Menez and Benzema were part of the France team that won the under-17 European Championship in 2004, but the pair have had contrasting careers since then.

While Benzema went straight from boyhood club Lyon to Madrid in 2009 and hasn’t looked back, Menez has played for nine clubs in four countries and now finds himself in the French second tier with Paris FC.

“Of course, you can only admire his career,” he said of Benzema in an interview with Foot Mercato.

“Being a player at Real Madrid for ten years, not many players have done that. Despite everything that has been said about him, he is still there, he’s working hard and he’s shutting people up.

“At any given moment you can make your career, but we have to recognise one thing: he was probably a harder worker than us and he got what he deserved, that’s all.”

Benzema has won two Spanish titles and four Champions Leagues among other honours at Madrid, and sits behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul and Alfredo di Stefano in the club’s all-time top scorers chart.

Despite these achievements, he has generally gone under the radar as a player at the very top end of the game, rarely in the spotlight – a trait that couldn’t be applied to Menez.

The former Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan forward believes he has matured now, but at 32 he has some catching up to do as he looks to rediscover his form. After joining Paris’ second club from Mexican side Club America in the summer, he has only made one cameo appearance from the bench.

“The most important thing is to find my level, to get my fitness back and to enjoy myself with Paris FC,” he added.

“After that, we will wait and see what will happen. Right now, I’m missing most matches. You can train for a year, but if you do not play it’s not the same. Nothing replaces playing in every game.

“I’m probably less impulsive [than I used to be]. I answer less quickly. Today, I’m more reflective when I make decisions.”