Karim Benzema has admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from Real Madrid has led to the French striker having to take on a new role of responsibility with Los Blancos.
Ronaldo was Real Madrid's talisman for nine years between 2009 and 2018, scoring a scarcely believable 450 goals in 438 appearances, and he was unsurprisingly at the centre of attention during his time in the Spanish capital.
"Before, there was a guy that scored more than 50 goals a season and I was in the role of a passer," he told France Football, as per ESPN.
"I played in terms of Cristiano. We formed a great duo. I looked for him constantly with the aim of helping him score even more goals. I was in a secondary role.
With Ronaldo now out of the equation, Benzema has admitted that it is up to him to lead from the front and, with 20 goals to his name so far this season, he has proven that he is up to the task.
"Now, it's up to me to show I want to score, that I want to carry the team. And that's what I like. It's actually what I did at Lyon. I said to myself that I had to take that to Madrid, but even better. And that's the case now.
"When I came to Madrid, I had to change my way of playing. I put myself at the service of a guy who -- I say again -- scored 50 goals a season.
"And it was a pleasure to play with him. Now, I'm the leader of the attack. It's up to me to make the difference. I am very happy, because I can play my true football."