Karim Benzema

Carlo Ancelotti: Karim Benzema a 'complete player' ageing like wine

Jamie Spencer
At 34, Karim Benzema is enjoying the best season of his career
At 34, Karim Benzema is enjoying the best season of his career / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has compared Karim Benzema to wine, insisting the Frenchman is getting better with age and hailing him as the ‘complete player’.

Benzema scored a hat-trick against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as Real put one foot in the Champions League semi-finals.

That treble also makes him just the fourth player in the competition’s history to score hat-tricks in successive games, having already done in the last 16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain last month to complete an unexpected Real comeback.

At 34, Benzema shows little sign of slowing down and has been thriving as Real’s main man since 2018. This season is already the most prolific of his career to date, with 37 goals in all competitions so far and still up to 12 matches potentially left to play.

“Benzema is a really complete – not striker – player,” Ancelotti told the media at Stamford Bridge. "He gets better every day, like wine. Every day he becomes an even better leader, and feels more how important he is for the team and for the club.

“I think this is what is making the difference with him, he has a stronger personality now, he knows he is a very important player and that's why he is an example for everybody.

"He scores a lot of goals and this is really important, but he helps the team a lot in possession. He is always in the right position. We are really happy and lucky to have him.”

Real remain top of La Liga and among the favourites to win the Champions League, which if successful would add to Benzema’s already bulging trophy cabinet.

Since moving to Madrid from Lyon in 2009, he has won four Champions League and three La Liga titles, as well as the Copa del Rey twice.

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