Saturday, June 24, 2017

Kluivert: Benzema needs to be target man

Former Netherlands star Patrick Kluivert has called for France forward Karim Benzema to improve his capabilities as a lone striker.

The Frenchman scored 32 goals in 52 appearances last season as Real Madrid went on to claim the Liga title but cut a frustrated figure for his national side as they slumped out of Euro 2012 in the quarter-finals.

And Kluivert, who netted 40 times and amassed 79 caps for the Dutch, has called for the former Lyon star to modify his game in order to help France.

“Benzema is really strong but he should focus more on his job as a forward and, as the English say, be the target man,” the 35-year-old told France Football.

“He knows how to perform, we see it every week for Real Madrid. But it is also true that he plays there with partners who help him and are closer to him in the box.

“When the players around him are attacking, he becomes strong. But he isn’t as strong when he is more isolated. He must model himself on Ronaldo, I think.”

The former Barcelona star went on to question France coach Laurent Blanc’s negative approach during his side’s exit from the tournament at the hands of world champions Spain.

“Laurent Blanc has chosen to oppose the offensive qualities of Jordi Alba rather than force him to defend. In my view that was a great mistake,” he said.

“Each (coach) works in their own way and, for some, it seems normal not to explain. But, for others, it is questionable.”

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