INTERVIEW | 12/08/2018"There is a lot of pressure and high expectations at the start of each season, that's why I love this club", said the striker.
Benzema spoke to UEFA prior to the first official match of the season between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid (Wednesday, 9:00 pm CEST) with the UEFA Super Cup up for grabs. The Frenchman spoke about the team's success in recent years: "We've been through a golden age at Real Madrid with all the titles we've won. I think we've built a solid team season after season, as well as giving the best of ourselves in order to get as far as possible".
The UEFA Super Cup is a title that you've got used to winning in recent years, much like the Champions League, what does this first big game of the season mean to you?
It means a great deal because the UEFA Super Cup is another trophy and we all know when you play for Real Madrid that you must win. It's a title we will give our all to win. It will be hard, but we have a fresh team and it would be good to start the season by winning it.
What did it mean to Benzema to score a goal in a Champions League final?
It was a special goal, but it wasn't easy to score. I knew how to anticipate what the goalkeeper was about to do. It meant a lot to me, not just that goal, but the entire final. I think I put in a big performance. It might have been one of my best games in a Real Madrid jersey, and I was lucky that that game was an important final.
And what did you think of Bale's goal in that match?
It was very impressive. Liverpool had drawn level but he hit back with that bicycle kick. It was fantastic for the team and for him.
You’ve played more than one hundred matches in the Champions League, what do you put it down to?
That’s something that I’m very proud of. It shows how ambitious I am and the hunger I always have. I want to continue scoring more and more goals and continue to provide assists for my teammates. These are numbers that fill me with pride and that always give me that extra motivation to want to go even further.
What´s it been like to win four Champions Leagues in five years?
We’ve enjoyed a golden age at Real Madrid with all the titles we’ve won. I think we’ve been able to build a solid team season after season, as well as give the best of ourselves to get as far as possible. There is a lot of pressure and high expectations at the beginning of every season, and that's why I love this club.
Are you aware that this streak of titles brings you closer to the feat of the team of the fifties?
We know that winning three consecutive Champions Leagues is not something that any team can do, because it’s a very tough competition. But we’ve got a very powerful squad, with a lot of character, and we managed to demonstrate that out on the field. We also showed the world that we were the best, we showed the desire we had and how respectful we always are of our opponents.
You’re about to start your tenth season at Real Madrid, how do you think you’ve changed since you arrived in Madrid when you were very young?
I think I’ve matured a lot. I’ve also developed my game. I’ve gained a lot of experience at a club that’s the best in the world. It was a little complicated during the early years, but I always fought hard and I had the aim to play and play well at this club.
What advice do you give young players who come to Real Madrid?
The only thing I can tell them is to work hard, always give their best and aim to bring something different to this club.