Ronaldo helped and hurt Benzema's career after 'crazy' Madrid move, says former coach

By Sports Desk October 19, 2022

Karim Benzema "learned a lot" from Cristiano Ronaldo but was also "overshadowed" by his former Real Madrid team-mate, the 2022 Ballon d'Or winner's academy coach told Stats Perform.

Madrid captain Benzema was named the world's best footballer by France Football for the first time in Paris on Monday.

The France forward was a deserving winner, having been Madrid's outstanding performer in scoring 44 goals in 2021-22 as they won LaLiga and the Champions League.

It was by far the most prolific campaign of Benzema's career, although his goalscoring form had already seen an upturn since Ronaldo's 2018 departure.

Benzema scored only 12 goals in 2017-18 as Ronaldo's final season at the Santiago Bernabeu ended with a fourth European crown alongside the former Lyon man. Benzema's fifth followed this year without Ronaldo.

Many might now wonder how Benzema's career could have panned out had he not joined Madrid in the same transfer window as Ronaldo back in 2009.

But Armand Garrido, an academy coach at Lyon between 1989 and 2019, pointed out to Stats Perform the ways in which Benzema also profited from playing with Ronaldo.

"Yes, the fact of playing with Cristiano Ronaldo, he was overshadowed by Cristiano Ronaldo," Garrido said in an exclusive interview. "But at the same time, yes, he learned a lot with Cristiano Ronaldo.

"He certainly learned how to work, how to train, how to keep a healthy lifestyle.

"Nowadays, there are other players like Cristiano Ronaldo, who are old compared to the kind of players we can be expecting at a very high level, and [Ronaldo] is still playing at top level.

"So, yes, Benzema learned a lot from Cristiano, but he was also overshadowed by Cristiano."

Benzema will now be remembered as a Madrid great, but Garrido added: "When he leaves to sign for Real Madrid, my first thought was that he's crazy; he chose the toughest club.

"Not [crazy] to join Real, of course, but maybe [it would be better] joining before another club superior to Olympique Lyonnais.

"We did not think that it was the best way to earn a place at Real Madrid, but when he does it, it is when we realise that he's a world-class player."

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