They said that “game recognizes game” and within the struggles that emerge in the constant battle to reach and maintain elite status, players find ways to admire one another. The world of football at the highest levels tends to be a very lonely place and only those that reached that level totally understand the demands.
For this reason, PSG star Lionel Messi found an unexpected ally in Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who believes that the people who criticize the Argentine for his performance at Paris Saint-Germain know nothing about football.
“It’s just an adaptation period because he’s not scoring many goals. But look at what he does on the pitch. In any case, you can’t criticize a player like that. In fact, whoever criticizes Messi doesn’t know anything about football. “, declared the French attacker in dialogue with Telefoot in France.
This comes weeks prior to these two players clash in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League in the middle of February.
Despite Obstacles, Messi Continues To Receive Recognition
Messi garnered his seventh Ballon d’Or, an award that many had suggested Benzema would win. The Frenchman finished fourth in the race, also behind Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho, which was apparently a source of frustration for him.
Winning the award remains a goal for Benzema, although he doesn’t think he could have done more than he did in 2021. “Fourth, third or second is the same as 30. The main thing is to win it. They told me I hadn’t won enough trophies, but that I couldn’t do more. It’s still a goal and every season I’ll try to do better than last season,” he said.
Benzema has scored 303 goals for Real Madrid, only five fewer than Alfredo Di Stéfano, who ranks third in the Spanish club’s all-time scorer ranking. Raúl is second with 323 and Cristiano Ronaldo has 450.
The Frenchman currently finds himself in pole position to win his first-ever Pichichi award in Spanish football as he is in top goalscorer in La Liga. In all competitions, the former Lyon man already scored 29 goals and has 10 assists.
“It’s a source of pride, but I want to continue. When I arrived, I saw Di Stefano’s record very far away. I didn’t see these records as a goal, but today being close to these legends is exceptional. When we arrive in Madrid we don’t tell ourselves that we are We will stay 10 or 15 years, we just want to win titles,” he concluded.
Messi Was Persuaded To Rest And Not Play For Argentina
The Argentine played in his first match of 2022 in PSG’s 4-0 victory against Reims after being out due to being positive for COVID-19 was scheduled to join the Argentine national team in the coming days for World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia. Messi was able to get minutes in that game and provided an assist in the game, but the talk was about him joining Argentina or not.
This was after the original list was given out and the former Barcelona man was left off as he was not available for them. According to Infobae in Argentina, there is confirmation from sources that mention that Messi decided to stay in Paris and relax during the international break after a conversation that he had with national team coach Lionel Scaloni.
Argentina is already qualified for the World Cup, so there is no need for him to be able to play and put his wellbeing at risk especially after having a tough bout of COVID in that past few weeks.
The objective is to have him ready for March for the final two rounds of qualifying and to get ready for a crucial stretch where he will be demanded a great deal in Champions League.