Karim proved his importance to Real Madrid again on Tuesday evening as he scored twice in the second half to fire Los Blancos to a 3-1 win over Athletic Club.

Zidane: Benzema is the greatest French forward of all time 1

Real Madrid had struggled, but Benzema was brilliant throughout and Zinedine Zidane recognised his No.9’s excellence after the match.

“For me, yes,” Zidane responded when asked if Benzema was ’s greatest ever forward.

“He shows it and he’s been at Real Madrid for a long time.

“He has more than 500 games, and he’s scored goals. At the end of it all, his record speaks for itself.

“For me, he’s the best. It’s clear.”

Benzema has enjoyed incredible form since Cristiano Ronaldo left in 2018, but the boss was quick to praise his work away from goal as well.

“He’s a more accomplished player now,” Zidane explained.

“He’s not a pure No.9. He doesn’t only think about goals and that’s why I love him.”

Zidane didn’t make many changes to his side, despite the packed calendar leading to expectations of rotations against Athletic.

“People will talk, whatever I do,” Zidane said.

“I have to do things and I think this had to be done.

“Everyone wants to play and the most important thing is that we keep doing what we’re doing.

“It’s going well and we’re happy with these three points.”

Los Blancos have struggled at times this season, but the coach isn’t overly concerned.

“You always suffer in LaLiga [Santander],” Zidane said.

“It’s true that we had more complications tonight, but we got three points.

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“We don’t have to talk about the game too much, the important thing was to win. We weren’t brilliant, but when you don’t play well you have to win.”