‘By 30 he weighed two or three kilos too much!’: Arsene Wenger claims Karim Benzema’s Indian summer for Real Madrid is the result of weight loss … insisting that the Bernabeu hero is now one of the world’s top three strikers after becoming a ‘real’ athlete ‘
- Karim Benzema scored the 43rd goal of the season in Real Madrid’s win over Man City
- The Frenchman’s penalty helped a dramatic return to the Champions League
- Benzema revealed his greatest goal-scoring form at the age of 34 this term
- Arsene Wenger reduces his sudden rise to losing ‘two or three kilograms’
Arsene Wenger believes Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is creating the best form of his career at 34 because he is now a ‘real athlete’.
Benzema increased their total goals for the season to 43 on Wednesday night, hitting a key penalty in Madrid’s dramatic victory in the Champions League semi-final over Manchester City.
The French frontman spent close to 13 years at Real, but until this campaign his best return of goals in all competitions was 30.
Arsene Wenger says Karim Benzema’s remarkable rise comes down to losing “two or three kilograms”
Benzema scored his 43rd goal of the season in Madrid’s dramatic win against Man City
In the 2021-22 season, Benzema enjoyed the Indian summer, and his devastating form in front of goal helped Carlo Ancelotti’s men win the Spanish title and reach this month’s Champions League final.
And Wenger reduces his improvement in the mid-30s to weight loss, claiming he had ‘two or three pounds too much’ by the age of 30.
“It’s something interesting that we see all over Europe now: the oldest strikers are the most effective,” the former Arsenal manager told beIN SPORTS.
‘Robert Lewandowski, Benzema, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, score 35 and 40.
‘The best strikers in Europe are all over 30 years old. They use every mistake of the opponent.
Benzema is pictured celebrating against PSG in March (left) and taking a breath during the 2017 game (right) before losing weight, according to Wenger
The Frenchman yells at the Bernabeu crowd after scoring victorious against City
‘Benzema, I would say, weighed two or three kilograms by the age of 30. Now he is a real athlete and that is why today he is certainly one of the two or three best strikers in the world. ‘
Benzema was one of the driving forces in Real’s extraordinary journey to the Champions League final, in which they toppled PSG, Chelsea and City in dramatic circumstances to come to prominence.
He scored consecutive hat-tricks in their rematch in final 16 against PSG and the quarter-final first leg at Stamford Bridge, before also scoring in their decision against the Blues.
The veteran then continued that by firing a duel in last week’s opening defeat by City 4-3, which preceded his winning penalty on Wednesday night.
The former Arsenal manager believes he is now one of the top three strikers in world football
Wenger added of Benzema: ‘I would say it is a demonstration of intelligence and efficiency. Everything he does is intelligent and looks simple.
‘When I see him play, I think I could do the same. He feels the rhythm of the game like no other. ‘
Ancelotti has long been aware of Benzema’s importance to Madrid, saying before their quarter-final win over Chelsea: ‘We are addicted to Benzema.
‘That’s right, we won’t deny it. And I am very happy that we depend on Karim. That’s the reality, and that’s a good thing.
‘Karim is a modern striker and [does] which is required of strikers. Everything, including defensive work. He is a perfect representation of what a center forward should be in today’s football. ‘