Football

El Clasico: Facing Barcelona without Lionel Messi is always special – Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema's start to the season has been stunning. The Frenchman is just two assists off his tally for last season and he has scored the same numbers of goals as the entire Barca team.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has revealed that facing Barcelona even without Lionel Messi is always a special moment for him.

Benzema made this known in an interview with ESPN, where he said that Barcelona are always strong regardless of who they parade against Real Madrid.

The two teams are set to face each other on October 24 at the Camp Nou in a derby regarded by the Real Madrid striker as historic due to the world-class players who have featured in it over the years.

“For me, it’s still the same. It remains the best match that exists in football,” Benzema told ESPN.

“It doesn’t matter about the players who are there, who have left or who will join. Real Madrid vs Barcelona is historic. The names change but before there was [Zinedine] Zidane, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, [Samuel] Eto’o. Real Madrid vs Barcelona will always be Real Madrid vs Barcelona.”

Despite Barcelona’s slow start to the season, Benzema is adamant that Los Blancos should not underestimate their opponents and warned against complacency.

“There’s never a good moment to play [them],” Benzema added. “A team like Barcelona or any top team, they can have a poor game and then bounce back again. It’s a match that we can’t take lightly, even if they haven’t played well so far.”

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