Karim Benzema has explained why he took a Panenka penalty in Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final first-leg defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday.
Benzema was terrific once again at the Etihad Stadium, helping himself to a brace in a 4-3 defeat. His opening goal was an instinctive first-time finish from a Ferland Mendy cross to make it 2-1, and he then cut the deficit to one goal again with an outrageous second-half spot kick.
Speaking at full-time, Benzema explained why he decided to try the cheeky dink.
“I always have it in my head that if you don’t take a penalty, you will never miss a penalty. That’s mental confidence and that’s all. I have a lot of confidence in myself…so I do it and it turns out well,” he explained.
Benzema’s brace took him to 14 goals in this season’s Champions League and 41 strikes in all competitions. His form has fired Real to the top of La Liga and also helped his side progress in Europe despite some underwhelming team performances.
Vinicius Jr, who has formed a potent partnership with Benzema this season, was full of praise for the Frenchman after the game too, tipping him to win the Ballon d’Or.
“There are no words that can describe how Benzema plays. He deserves the Ballon d’Or,” he said.
“I hope my brother Benzema ends up winning La Liga, Champions League and Ballon d’Or.”
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