Benzema likened to Ronaldo

MAYNOOTH: Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has what it takes to become a new Ronaldo, the Spanish club’s former Brazilian World Cup winner who is the 21-year-old’s inspiration, Real’s Brazilian left-back Marcelo said.

Real won their opening pre-season friendly 1-0 against Irish champions Shamrock Rovers on Monday thanks to a goal from Benzema, who joined Real from French side Lyon for $50 million dollars earlier this month. “That did not surprise me because Benzema is a great player. He is very young and we can’t yet compare him to Ronaldo but he could become like him,” said Marcelo. “He helps the team a great deal with his work and his magnificent passes,” he added.

Spanish media said the 21-year-old stole the show from Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who Real signed for a record fee of around 94 million euros last month, during the match against Shamrock Rovers. Ronaldo was closely attended to and was taken off at half-time having failed to sparkle against some muscular defending.

When Benzema was unveiled as a Real player earlier this month, he said the Brazilian Ronaldo would be his inspiration as he looks to fire the goals to help the Spanish giants dethrone Barcelona in La Liga. “Ronaldo is the greatest player in the world. He is my inspiration and every time I go on the pitch I will try to repeat what he did.”

The Brazilian left Real for AC Milan in January 2007. Ronaldo, who won two World Cups with Brazil and was named FIFA World Player of the Year three times, is now at Brazilian side Corinthians.