Football

Benzema and Zidane.

Zinedine Zidane slams Gary Lineker for what he tweeted about Karim Benzema

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After four wins in a row, Real Madrid were held to a draw in midweek at home to Premier League side Tottenham in the Champions League.

Despite dominating possession, the Spanish and European champions needed a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty to cancel out Raphael Varane's opener at the Bernabeu.

During BT Sport's coverage of that encounter, presenter Gary Lineker took to Twitter to share what he thought about Karim Benzema's status as one of the best strikers on the continent.

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As you can see in the tweet below, the ex-Barcelona man labelled Benzema "a tad overrated" and "decent, not great", in addition to criticising his goalscoring record.

Real host Eibar on Sunday, and ahead of that game, manager Zinedine Zidane has hit back in strong fashion at what Lineker said about his first-choice centre-forward.

Zizou fires back at Lineker

Zidane mounted a strong defence of Benzema, claiming that it's unrealistic for people to expect him to match Cristiano Ronaldo's ridiculous goal tallies.

Athletic Club v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Whilst addressing Lineker's comments, Zizou slammed the Englishman, saying, via Goal: "It's not just Karim, he's annoying me with [what he says about] Karim.

"Because, for people who know football, it's embarrassing. He's the best number nine for Madrid, by a long way.

"Karim will not score 60 goals, but he will score 20 goals and assists for 30 or 40 more. It bothers me when people talk badly about my players. For me, Benzema is the best."

TOPSHOT-FBL-ESP-LIGA-GETAFE-REAL MADRID

Benzema might not be able to match the scoring ratios of strikers like Luis Suarez or Robert Lewandowski, but he is integral to Ronaldo's success at Madrid.

Real's number nine can be extremely unselfish, his link-up play is second to none, and it's no surprise that Guillem Balague recently named Benzema as Cristiano's favourite teammate.

"For me, a striker doesn't only need to score goals," Zidane continued. "Karim has everything, not only the goals.

"If Karim has been at Real Madrid for almost 10 years it's not an accident. He always recovers from everything, always shows his qualities.

FBL-ESP-SUPERCUP-REALMADRID-BARCELONA

"On the pitch, he is the best. He has everything. Every quality for a footballer. He could improve, he knows, and he works for it. When he scores more goals, he will be happier".

Is Benzema overrated?

The 29-year-old Frenchman has struggled for both form and fitness this season, registering just two goals in eight appearances so far.

He scored a lovely goal at Getafe last weekend, but saw a close-range header against Spurs brilliantly saved by compatriot Hugo Lloris to complete his frustrating night.

FBL-EUR-C1-REALMADRID-TOTTENHAM

Following the surprising sale of Alvaro Morata to Chelsea, Real definitely need Benzema at his world-class best in order to challenge both domestically and in Europe.

What do YOU make of Zidane's response to Lineker's Benzema criticism? Do YOU think he is overrated? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!

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Topics:
Zinedine Zidane
Football
Gary Lineker
La Liga
Karim Benzema

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