Claude Puel and Alain Perrin, his coaches at Olympic Lyon, author of 26 Breakthrough Goals, analyze the best LaLiga for EL Mundo.
“Maybe earlier he played just for fun, but now, as he nears the end of his career, when he knows he has no more good years left, he has put his heart into everything he does. The captain’s armband has given him the responsibility. It means one more step in his decision to play for the team and not just for himself.” Karim Benzema’s dominance in LaLiga fits this analysis Ellen PerrinThe coach who coached him the most times at the Olympique de Lyon.
14 years have passed since the general phase of both Gerland and Perrin remembered for EL Mundo today, not only the key to the time, but its repercussions on the current Benzema. “Up until recently there were people who could think that he made no effort. What happens is that his sports science allowed him to participate in an already completely fluid way. Today he reaches his maximum level. Has been, with some very intelligent movements, very useful for capturing the right places,” says the former China coach. He added, “At 20, he may have amazing technique, although at that age he may not be pushing himself at the right time and in the right place.”
He was also a witness at the time of formation Claude Puelwho previously enjoyed their last season Jean-Michel Classroom turn off transfer with florentino parezzo, “When he lands in Barnabu he finds that everyone including him has to play Cristiano Ronaldo, The first five or six months were quite difficult for him, although he was already able to adapt during this Jose Mourinho, After the departure of the Portuguese, Karim has reached a fantastic maturity and leadership”, revealed Puel in a conversation with this newspaper.
quadruple the numbers
“During the last league and Champions League games he has taken all the responsibility. And that’s what amazes me the most, to see him please his teammates and lead as captain. Not only is it fantastic to enjoy his quality, but also the charisma that has fulfilled his maturity as a footballer”, emphasizes the former Leicester coach, without ignoring any other factors that have propelled Karim to the top. “At 34, his physical condition is unbelievable. Five or six seasons ago I saw him slow down a bit without the necessary responsiveness, but these last two, when the benchmark of the team is known, he is much better and provides solutions. can do. Withholding the effort”, he concludes.
Puell’s reference is worth remembering that in the 2018 season, Cristiano’s last at the Bernabeu, Benzema’s balance had dropped to 12 goals in 47 games. Today, with 41 goals in 42 commitments, that figure has nearly quadrupled. And after securing their first Pichichi Trophy, they still have four days to beat the final record of Leo Messi (30 goals). “And it’s not just a center in the strict sense,” Perrin says. “For most amateurs or experts, a 9 He has to score, but Karim works for the others and not only for the goals, but also for the others to achieve them. This was already in evidence during his time with Cristiano. it’s not just one Robert Lewandowski, for example. He doesn’t stay on the surface”, explains the French coach.
At this stage, with a league title and a deafening run through to the Champions League qualifiers, Benzema is emerging as the natural favorite for the Ballon d’Or. After its fourth place in 2021, only Mohamed Salahi, with Liverpool still aspiring to the title club, are in a position to oust him. And that award would be a definite endorsement for his figure. of an artist with a very distinctive temperament, as he recorded after his last hat-trick in London. “I don’t play to be the best in the world, but for nights like this.” Asked if there is some kind of arrogance behind this statement, Perrin is blunt: “He loves football and that’s why he wants to share it. He is not a selfish man and that is why he is attracted not only by statistics but also by statistics.” or personal recognition”.
“Very humble on his return”
And if there is no challenge at Bernabeu, equal to fourteenth, then what to say about the World Cup in Qatar, where France defends the 2018 title. “After a five-year absence, returning to the national team, hand in hand Didier Deschamps Their confidence has been very, very important,” argues Puel. “They make a great pair. Kian Mappo, among other reasons because they complement perfectly. Karim likes to run, presenting himself between the lines, while Kylian looks for diagonals and speed towards the goal”, explains the former Monaco footballer (1978–1996).
“He had problems with the national team and his absence coincided with the explosion of the team. As were the leaders paul pogbas either Antoine GriezmannBut he came into the group very politely, without trying to impose himself and he was very smart,” Perrin says. “I’m very excited about what could happen in Qatar, where I think Karim Will assume a strong leadership in that locker room,” he concluded.
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Reference from www.elmundo.es