Carlo Ancelotti saluted “complete” Karim Benzema after the Real Madrid captain became the club’s second-highest LaLiga scorer of all time.
The striker struck twice from the penalty spot in Wednesday’s commanding 4-0 win over bottom side Elche, taking his Spanish top-flight tally for the club to 230 goals – surpassing Raul’s 228 – with only Cristiano Ronaldo netting more on 311.
Marco Asensio and Luka Modric were also on target as Ancelotti’s side closed the gap on league leaders Barcelona to eight points.
And the Italian paid tribute to his in-form number nine, who has now been directly involved in 15 goals in his last 14 appearances for Madrid (12 goals, three assists).
“Karim is not just a striker,” the Italian said. “He is very complete, he combines well – today especially with Rodrygo. He is always ready in the area and helps us a lot in possession.
“His career is fantastic and hopefully he can continue. Real Madrid wants him at this level.
“Every game is good to gain confidence. When you win 3-0 and relax, there can be problems and I don’t want it. The moment is good. We must maintain this dynamic of concentration and commitment.”
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 15, 2023
Ancelotti also defended his decision to bench Modric, who completed the rout with a wonderful strike 10 minutes from time, as Dani Ceballos, Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde comprised Madrid’s three-man midfield.
The head coach highlighted the importance of rotation with his squad aiming to chase down Barca, while a blockbuster Champions League last-16 tie with Liverpool is also on the horizon.
“Modric is untouchable for me and for everyone. Everyone is important, and I have total confidence in everyone,” Ancelotti said. “I have to rotate because it’s a very demanding season.
“The statistics say that [Toni] Kroos scored against [Athletic] Bilbao when coming off the bench [in last month’s 2-0 win] and that, today, Modric has scored coming off the bench. From there, they can contribute goals.”
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