'Not underrated anymore!' - Chelsea boss Tuchel names Benzema as favourite Real Madrid player

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has named Karim Benzema as his favourite Real Madrid player, ahead of the two sides' encounter in the Champions League quarter-finals later this week.

The Blues face La Liga's title favourites in the last eight on Wednesday, with the return leg next week, as they aim to defend their European crown.

Tuchel is relishing the chance to take on with Los Blancos, with a semi-final berth at stake - but when asked to pick out his favoured opponent, he had no hesitation in plumping for the France international as his personal pick.

What has been said?

"Well, instead of being boring and refusing to give one particular name I'll give all of the praise to Karim Benzema," Tuchel stated. "Two years ago, I think he was one of the most underrated players in world football, and maybe not any more.

"He absolutely deserves everything that has happened to him, he has been how many years as the number nine for Real Madrid, and that speaks for itself, how he carries responsibility, in the last stage for them. What a key part he plays for them as a captain now - it's very impressive.

"You can see what can happen to a team in his absence, from the Clasico. He's for sure a standout player and personality. But right now that's also very unfair to guys like Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and many more, this team is very successful because of huge, huge personalities."

The bigger picture

Chelsea are looking to complete a continental double this season, after coming up short in the Carabao Cup against Liverpool, with success in Europe and the FA Cup still at hand.

However, they face a hard task against Madrid, particularly on the back of a frustrating Premier League defeat to Brentford last time out.

Benzema meanwhile is likely to showcase a serious threat once more against the Blues, with the France international one of the star performers this term.

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