Carlo Ancelotti has defended Karim Benzema’s performances and urged the midfielder to prove the Real Madrid boo-boys wrong.
Benzema was on the receiving end of some rough treatment from his own fans during Sunday’s 4-1 victory over Getafe but his Italian manager was on hand to lend some support.
“He’s played well,” Ancelotti said. “I’m pleased with his work, apart from his lack of goals. It’s not a problem that the fans are booing him, sometimes booing is good, it motivates you.”
The Frenchman has scored four times this season, including two in last week’s UEFA Champions League triumph away to Galatasaray.
He has come under fire in his home country following a 17-match drought at international level, a run that stretches back more than a year.
But his club boss insisted that he made the right call in opting to keep the 25-year-old, while allowing Mesut Ozil to complete a transfer deadline-day move to Premier League outfit Arsenal.
“He (Ozil) has great attacking qualities but in the last two games (against Galatasaray and Getafe) we’ve played without him we had no problem scoring goals, we scored 10 and we could have scored 15,” he said.
“We are still very good going forward even without Ozil.”
Another of Real’s attacking threats, close-season signing Isco, came in for special praise from Ancelotti, who compared the Spaniard to club legend Zinedine Zidane.
“It’s not bad for Isco to be compared to Zidane, but it’s true, he’s similar to Zidane,” Ancelotti said. “You have to ask Zidane about that, in fact I already have. He told me he isn’t quite there, but that in the future he could come close.”
Ancelotti takes his unbeaten side to Elche on Wednesday as they seek to close the five-point gap to leaders Barcelona, who have played a game more.