Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been praised by Chelsea star Kalidou Koulibaly ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.
Chelsea, who are a struggling Premier League side right now, will visit the Bernabeu on Wednesday night for the opening leg of their quarter-final encounter. The Blues have had a horrible season, dropping into the Premier League’s bottom half and having two permanent managers Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter come and depart.
What did the Chelsea star say about Karim Benzema?
Chelsea will try to put their poor domestic record behind them when they play Champions League defenders Real Madrid. However, Koulibaly recognizes that Chelsea’s advancement to the semi finals would be difficult. He picked out Benzema ahead of his team’s trip to Madrid.
In an interview with BBC Sports, the Senegalese talked about Benzema. He said, “I said about two or three years ago, he is the best striker in the world. It will be a tough game but I hope Chelsea will win and pass this test.”
“It is our objective but it is going to be hard because they won the last Champions League. We believe in ourselves, in our teammates, and manager.”
“I am happy for Benzema, he is a good example for the Muslim people that we can do Ramadan, score goals, and be productive. I hope he continues to score, but not on Wednesday!”
The Senegalese center-back is anticipated to start in defense for Frank Lampard’s side, and he will have the ultimate test of keeping Benzema under control.
Benzema: The talisman for Los Blancos
When Real Madrid and Chelsea met in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals last season, Karim Benzema was the standout player at Stamford Bridge. The French forward scored a hat trick on the night, leaving the English team behind 3-1 on aggregate.
The London-based club staged a spectacular comeback in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning 3-0 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate. However, it was Benzema who provided the knockout punch following Rodrygo’s late equalizer to send Chelsea out.
The French striker has put up impressive figures against the Blues in recent years. He will be hoping for another strong performance when the two teams meet in Madrid on Wednesday.
After a shaky start to the season, Benzema has stormed back into rhythm in recent weeks. The former WC winner scored a seven minute hat trick against Real Valladolid in La Liga. He then followed with another hat trick against rivals Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey semifinal, guiding them to the final.
Benzema was withdrawn early against Villarreal on Saturday, possibly because Carlo Ancelotti was thinking about the game against Chelsea. Needless to say, the striker’s performance will be crucial on Wednesday for Madrid to advance.