Karim Benzema slams Lionel Messi's critics

Karim Benzema has backed Lionel Messi to shine at PSG
Karim Benzema has backed Lionel Messi to shine at PSG / John Berry/GettyImages

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has hit out at critics claiming they know nothing about football and backed Lionel Messi to shine at Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi has had a slow start to life at the Parc des Princes and his form has been questioned several times over the course of the season. The 34-year-old has scored just once in 11 Ligue 1 games, however, he has scored five goals in as many Champions League games.

The Argentine is set to return to action following a Covid-19 quarantine period, and Benzema believes he is ready to impress.

Benzema told French channel TF1:

“How won’t he succeed?

“It is just a period of adaptation because he is not scoring a lot of goals. But watch what he does on the pitch. In any case you cannot criticise a player like that. He who criticises Messi, knows nothing about football.”

The former LaLiga rivals will be up against each other next month when PSG face Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.

"The game against PSG will not be easy at all," Benzema added. "I would have preferred another opponent to be honest."

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino revealed earlier this week that Messi was in contention for the weekend's game against Reims.

"Lionel trained well during the week," said Pochettino in his pre-match press conference.

"We are satisfied and happy with his progress and he will be with the team tomorrow [on Sunday].

"It's always good news that players who have been inactive, or not participating in the team, can already be available to play with the group and help the team little by little."