Misfiring Benzema told to forget about Ronaldo
26 September 2014, 19:10
Barcelona - Real Madrid's misfiring striker Karim Benzema has been told by coach Carlo Ancelotti to forget Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring exploits and concentrate on helping the team.
While Ronaldo has been scoring for fun with seven goals in his last two Madrid matches, it has been a very different story for Benzema who has just two from eight games so far.
"Benzema is fine and he has a lot of ability," Ancelotti told a news conference in Madrid ahead of their La Liga game at Villarreal on Saturday.
"He needs to work as he always has done and not feel any pressure about scoring. There is no need for him to worry that Cristiano has scored four goals. The only thing that he needs to think about is helping the team to play better and give solutions in attack."
Benzema failed to score in the 8-2 destruction of Deportivo La Coruna last weekend when Ronaldo hit a hat-trick. He was then rested for the midweek clash against Elche, as the Portuguese got four in a 5-1 victory.
Ancelotti showed his confidence in Benzema ahead of the season by not recruiting striking reinforcements, which left the Frenchman as the only recognised centre forward at the club.
Yet his poor goal record has caused alarm bells to ring at the Bernabeu.
Ancelotti restructured his team against Elche by putting Ronaldo and Gareth Bale together in the centre of the attack and they swept aside the visitors.
Ronaldo showed he is back to his best after knee and hamstring injuries that had taken the edge off his game in recent months.
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"I have faced Ronaldo when I was at Milan and he was at (Manchester) United and I don't think it is easy to stop him. If you are up against him then it is better not to think about it so that you are calmer," joked Ancelotti.
"At the moment there is no doubt that he is the best in the world and it is not easy to mark the best in the world. We are lucky that we have him in our team and that he has plenty of desire and character.
"He is a leader and it is necessary to have him fine physically and mentally as he will win you titles."
Ancelotti will be hoping for an improvement in defence against Villarreal, which has been Real's weak point in the opening five La Liga games.
They are in fifth place in the table, four points off the lead.
"The teams with the best chance of winning trophies are those that are solid and concede few goals," he said.
"Last year we were successful because we became more solid and we know that our team will never have problems to score."
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