Carlo Ancelotti had little hesitancy in hailing Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema as the best player in world football.
Benzema scored Madrid’s second goal in a 2-0 Super Cup triumph over Eintracht Frankfurt at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium.
In the process, he became the club’s outright second-highest goalscorer, having netted for the 324th time for Madrid.
That nudged the 34-year-old – who has replaced the departed Marcelo as Madrid’s club captain.
Ahead of Los Blancos great Raul, with only Cristiano Ronaldo (450) ahead of him in the record books.
Since the start of last season, Benzema has scored 45 goals in all competitions for Madrid.
That is a tally bettered only by Robert Lewandowski (50) regarding players from Europe’s top five leagues.
With this year’s Ballon d’Or awards taking place before the World Cup.
Benzema seems a certainty to be in the running for the prize.
In a pre-match media briefing on Tuesday, Benzema explained that it was not for him to say if he is the world’s best, but instead, he would leave it up to others to decide.
Asked in his post-match news conference if Benzema – who had four shots and created three chances in Madrid’s win on Wednesday – could be considered the best player on the planet, Ancelotti was effusive in his reply.
“I think [he is the best], yes.
“He is our most important player right now, the most efficient player in the world at this moment.
“Karim was the most important in the Champions League, even though he did not score in the final, because of his [all-around] game and his goals got us to the last, against Manchester City and Chelsea, against Paris Saint-Germain.
“He’s very important to us. There is no doubt, at the moment, that he is the best player in the world.”
As well as hailing a standout individual in Benzema, Ancelotti – the first coach to win the Super Cup on four separate occasions – said this Madrid dressing room is the best he has worked with in his illustrious career.
The Italian explained:
“Yes, absolutely, no doubt about that.
“It is a pleasure to coach this group. It’s a healthy atmosphere, good vibes between everyone, winning games and having success helps, but it’s all about the players.”
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