Benzema has confidence to impress Mourinho

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is more comfortable with

himself, and he believes that will impress coach Jose Mourinho.

The France striker struggled to break into Mourinho’s squad at

the start of last season before emerging over the latter stages to

score 26 goals from 48 appearances.

”I feel more comfortable with myself and I’m working very hard

in training to ensure I have good games – that’s what the coach

wants from me and that’s what I’m trying to do,” said Benzema, who

has scored six goals in six preseason matches.

Benzema’s improved form is also being noticed by France coach

Laurent Blanc.

”He’s a (player) who’s understood that he didn’t do everything

he should have last year to be in the best condition. He hasn’t

made the same mistakes this year,” Blanc said Thursday of the

France striker, who has scored 12 goals in 33 games on

international duty.

Blanc criticized Benzema’s excess weight – of two to three

kilograms – last September and said he had to improve his


”This year he hasn’t made that mistake,” Blanc said. ”He must

have told himself that it was very hard and taking a long time (to

settle at Real Madrid) and that maybe it worked against him in his

club. Everyone makes mistakes, the important thing is not to keep

making them, especially when you have a weight problem.”

Benzema and Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain will share striker

duties with Madrid quiet in the transfer market after Emmanuel

Adebayor’s loan from Manchester City expired. Madrid has been in

the running for Brazil striker Neymar of Santos.

”That’s a decision that doesn’t matter to me, that’s not our

thing,” Benzema said of reports Madrid could still bring in

another striker. ”That comes down to the coach and the