Real Madrid’s French striker Karim Benzema hopes that the club draw Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Plenty of others are hoping the same because of the on-going intrigue surrounding Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, and whether they might swap jobs, but Benzema has his own reasons.
“It’s normal, they are a French club where I have many friends such as [Jeremy] Menez and [Blaisé] Matuidi,” said the former Lyon man in an interview with AS.
“I even talk every day on the phone with Jeremy. PSG have had some problems in Ligue 1, but finished top of their group in the Champions League.
“I have no doubt it would be complicated, but I would hope to play against them.”
Benzema looks back on the Merengues group stage efforts without regret.
“We cannot be sad, as the important thing was to qualify. The group stage is no longer easy. Being first or second doesn’t change anything because in the end you’re going to have to face very good clubs.”
The 24-year-old set up Cristiano Ronaldo to score in Madrid’s 4-1 win over Ajax on Tuesday.
“We took that game seriously because we wanted to end the group stage with a win, especially for the fans. I’ve always gotten along with Cristiano and every time we play we have a better understanding on the pitch.”
Benzema believes Los Blancos are alive and kicking in the title race despite the 11 point gap between them and Barcelona.
“Clearly it was bad after the defeat to Real Betis, we were a little dejected, but thanks to the derby win we have raised our heads. Now we are back, and will try to win the League. It is not over.”
Finally Benzema was asked whether Gonzalo Higuain’s injury was an opportunity for him to excel.
“It’s important for me to catch the rhythm of the games and feel good physically. I’m in good form and working hard for it.”