Zinedine Zidane Labels Karim Benzema the Best French Striker of All Time

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Benzema scored once again on Tuesday night
Benzema scored once again on Tuesday night / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane has labelled Karim Benzema as the best French striker ever, after he bagged a brace in Real Madrid's 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.

The strikes were Benzema's ninth and tenth goals of the season so far and he has also registered three assists. Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo departed the club in 2018, he has been in brilliant from, netting 21 La Liga goals in each of his two previous La Liga campaigns.

Reflecting on Benzema's form after his side's win, Zidane said that he was the best striker France had ever produced.

"He's the best," Zidane said in his post-match press conference (via ESPN). "Without playing a really good game today, he scored twice again. He always shows up, that's what the great players do."

"He shows it with what he's doing. He's played at Real Madrid for a long time, more than 500 games. His goals, his trophies, what he's done, they speak for themselves. For me he's the best, yes, it's clear.

"He isn't a pure No. 9, only thinking about goals. That's why I love him. He doesn't only have that in his head. He links up, passes to teammates. That's what I like in football, and he has both things."

Benzema has proved himself to be world class over the past few years
Benzema has proved himself to be world class over the past few years / Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The victory moved Real up to third, level on points with second placed Atletico Madrid and surprise leader Real Sociedad, although Atleti do have two games in hand over their rivals. Los Blancos have not always impressed this season, losing three games already, so the win over Athletic came as a welcome relief.

Speaking after the game, Benzema said that he was pleased with his side's display.

"It was a really important game for us," he said. "We're on the right track. When we're at this level, things go well for us."