Owen feels grateful to Benzema for reviving his career

Cristiano Ronaldo with physio Antonio Gaspar

GETTY Cristiano Ronaldo with physio Antonio Gaspar

The 81-time capped global generally ignores such insults and gets on with his work, but, speaking in an interview with Canal Plus France today, Benzema revealed that one instance of criticism aimed in his direction during his early years at the Bernabeu left him with no choice but to speak up.

"I have no problems with any player in the France team".

"Everybody has gotten involved and we have forgotten football. The most hard thing in Madrid is the pressure but with age, I have learned to stay calm".

Benzema, at that time, was playing for Lyon and was one of the hottest striker's around coming off the back of two impressive campaigns in Ligue 1 that saw him net 37 times in 72 games.

"He has a lot of confidence and when he touches the ball, something happens every time". The Frenchman, though he has been consistently overshadowed by Cristiano Ronaldo and then Gareth Bale, has been one of Europe's most prolific and consistent strikers for the last decade.

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But it seems the former England global was desperate to play for United and even went as far as to "thank" Benzema for opening the door for him. "When I was at Lyon, I imagined moving to Real to win titles". However, Madrid fans can be notoriously critical of their players, and Benzema admits he has had to get used to the pressure. It's to sell papers. With age, I have learned to stay calm.

Benzema, who is still exiled from the France team after he was charged by police in 2015 in connection to an alleged blackmail attempt involving countryman Mathieu Valbuena, also praised former Real manager, Jose Mourinho, who is now at Manchester United.

"I wouldn't have gone to United if it wasn't for Benzema".

"He is a good coach".

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