Karim Benzema is one of the players rumored to be in contract negotiations with Real Madrid, and Zinedine Zidane hopes to keep the French striker at the Santiago Bernabeu for “a long time.”
A 33-year-old striker has been in Madrid since 2009, following a big-money transfer from Lyon in the same summer that Cristiano Ronaldo arrived.
Benzema spent nine years in the shadow of a Portuguese superstar, but he is now Real’s main man, with two goals in a 3-0 win over Cadiz on Wednesday bringing his season total to 27 goals.
On his fellow countryman, Zidane has said: “On the back of another inspired performance, and with news saying that Benzema is set to sign a new contract until 2023, I have to say: ” “I’m very pleased with how he’s doing.
“We understand how crucial he is to our team’s success, and it’s not just because of his aspirations.
“He motivates the players around him to play, and we enjoy watching him. I hope Real Madrid will continue to enjoy him for a long time.”
Benzema has only improved on his current goal a total of three times in his 12 years with Real, with 32 goals reflecting his personal best.
With at least eight more fixtures for the Blancos to play this season, he may lift the bar in 2021.
Given Zidane’s faith in the former Lyon forward, Kylian Mbappe remains a top priority for Madrid. However, any bid for the Frenchman does not seem to be at the detriment of Benzema’s position in the squad.
Los Blancos are aiming for a La Liga and Champions League double this season, having topped the Spanish top-flight table and secured a semi-final meeting with Chelsea in the European competition.
“We’re still alive in both competitions and we keep going,” Zidane said of Real’s ambition.
“We’ve gained three crucial points to keep us in contention, but there’s still a long way to go.”