Arsene Wenger says Karim Benzema’s weight loss is key to Real Madrid’s revival


Arsene Wenger says Karim Benzema’s incredible form this season was down to his weight loss after the Real Madrid striker delivered a dramatic win over Manchester City as they reached the Champions League final on Wednesday night.

Benzema’s form this season has been sensational, having scored 43 goals in 43 appearances for Los Blancos in all competitions. The French forward also equaled a record held by Cristiano Ronaldo for most goals in a Champions League round of 16 (ten).

Former Arsenal boss Wenger was full of praise for Benzema while covering the game on Wednesday night, comparing him to the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robert Lewandowski. Wenger also curiously claimed that his impeccable form was due to his pre-season weight loss.

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“I would say he’s a display of intelligence and efficiency,” said Wenger. “Everything he does is intelligent and looks simple. When I see him play I think I could do the same. But we know that everything he does is exceptional and he always uses the right surface to be more efficient.”

“He slows down to speed up, he speeds up and slows down so he can [reads] the rhythm of the game like no other. It’s something interesting that you’re seeing across Europe now that the older strikers are the most efficient.

„[Robert] Lewandowski, [Karim] Benzema, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, all these players, they score at 40, 45, but the best strikers in Europe are all over 35.

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Arsene Wenger believes Karim Benzema’s weight loss is the reason for his incredible form this season

“They take advantage of every mistake the opponent made, and Benzema, until 30, I think he was two or three kilos too much, now he’s a real athlete and that’s why he’s certainly one of the two or three best strikers in the world today.”

Madrid lost the first leg 4-3 at the Etihad while City took the lead to the Bernabeu. However, Pep Guardiola’s side appeared to have everything under control and dealt effectively with the home team’s threats. Their efforts were finally paid off in the second half by Riyad Mahrez who doubled City’s advantage.

But their hopes would be shattered when the 13-time Champions League winner pulled off a late two-minute comeback to level things and send the game into overtime. Karim Benzema then sealed the result with a third penalty.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side now face Liverpool in the Champions League final on May 28 as the Reds are desperate for revenge for their 3-1 defeat by Los Blancos in the 2018 final.

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