CARLO ANCELOTTI said that Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Real Madrid helped Karim Benzema to become a “complete player”.
Frenchman Benzema was in sensational form for Real, helping them regain the La Liga title from rivals Atletico Madrid.
He is the top scorer in both the league and the Champions League, scoring 43 goals in all competitions this season.
If Benzema wins the Champions League final on 28 May against Liverpool, he will be one of the favorites for the Ballon d’Or.
And considering that he managed to score just 12 goals in Ronaldo’s last season as a Real player, it’s hard to disagree with Ancelotti that the Portuguese captain’s exit didn’t help Benzema.
Ancelotti told SiriusXM FC: “I have a hard time calling Benzema just a center forward because he is a fantastic player who plays from the attack.
“He is not only a top scorer, but he also provides assists to his teammates and participates in the preparation of the game.
He is a complete player and for us he is really important because he scores so many goals.
“He’s a top, top player and I think he’s the best right now.
“It’s the same with [Luka] Modrico. He doesn’t seem to be 36 because he still has the enthusiasm to play, the professionalism to always be at the top. They are both very important to us.
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“I think Karim became a leader of the team when Ronaldo left because at that moment he had more responsibilities.
“Ronaldo was a player who scored around 50 goals per season and without him Real had a harder time scoring.
“Karim has taken on this responsibility and has become more important for the team. But this team has many leaders ”.
Since leaving Madrid, Ronaldo has not had all the success he would have hoped for.
The 37-year-old won two Serie A titles in three years at Juventus but ultimately failed to deliver the Champions League he so desperately wanted.
Ronaldo then returned to Manchester United in the summer of 2021 in a fairytale return.
But the Red Devils have failed to collect any silverware and after a poor performance in the Premier League, they will not play the Champions League next season.