Despite the departures of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema believes that the Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid is the finest game of football out there, the MARCA.com reports.
The two teams are set to face each other on October 24 at the Camp Nou in a derby regarded by the Real Madrid striker as historic due to the world class players who have featured in it over the years.
“For me, it’s still the same. It remains the best match that exists in football,” Benzema told ESPN.
“It doesn’t matter about the players who are there, who have left or who will join. Real Madrid vs Barcelona is historic. The names change but before there was [Zinedine] Zidane, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, [Samuel] Eto’o. Real Madrid vs Barcelona will always be Real Madrid vs Barcelona.”
Despite Barcelona’s slow start to the season, Benzema is adamant that Los Blancos should not underestimate their opponents and warned against complacency.
“There’s never a good moment to play [them],” Benzema added. “A team like Barcelona or any top team, they can have a poor game and then bounce back again. It’s a match that we can’t take lightly, even if they haven’t played well so far.”
Benzema also admitted that winning the Ballon d’Or would be a dream come true and explained that this objective has worked as a source of motivation to become a better player.
“It’s been a dream since I was young and also a motivation,” Benzema noted.
“The Ballon d’Or represents the best players in the world and [it’s great] to be on the list. If you count who’s on there, it’s very satisfying. It’s always been an objective.
“When I’m playing I don’t think about the Ballon d’Or. I think about helping the team win, providing a spectacle.
“The Ballon d’Or comes as a result of that because it’s more of an individual focus, but it’s all about the collective.”