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Karim Benzema at AS

June 27, 2011

Karim Benzema took time out from his vacation to speak “exclusively” with AS.  He talked about his vacation, the hopes he has for next season, and the role of Zidane on the team.  I also loved that Karim is ready to take on the role of big brother to Raphaël Varane – our Karim has grown up!  Most of the interview is below, I just skipped a couple of questions on last season, since I’m more than ready to move on to the new season.

How is your vacation going?

Phenomenally.  I’m having a great time.  I was in Ibiza and now I’m going to Mauritius.  I’m recharging my batteries.

You said you were in Ibiza for several days.  Did you like it?

It was great.  I hadn’t been there before and I have to say I loved it.  I coincided with Carles Puyol, with my friend Mesut and some other footballers.

Did you manage to forget about football during this vacation?

I try to disconnect a bit, but I always have football in mind.  In addition, I’m with people that never stop talking about it.  The sport is part of my life.  The ball is always by my side.

Did Mourinho give you all any suggestions for the summer?

The míster wished us a happy vacation and he asked us to return in good shape.  We’re professionals and we know what we have to do.  I personally take care of myself and I know that on July 11, I’ll return to Madrid in great shape.  I work every day.  I swim a lot because it’s good for the back and I also do a lot of bike riding.

How would you sum up your second season in Madrid?

I think I had a great season.  It was difficult in the beginning because I had some pains and I was a bit overweight.  But these setbacks forced me to work and things changed for the better.  That’s why I can affirm that I’m very happy with the second half of the season.  I believe I responded to the hope that people placed in me.

What was your worst moment?

Not playing in the Champions League semifinals.  Without a doubt.  Although I completely respect the decision of the coach, it was very frustrating for me not to be able to participate in those games against Barcelona, because I was in a good moment and I was convinced that I could help my team.  It hurt me, but I didn’t give up and I continued scoring goals afterward.

And the best?

The Copa del Rey victory.  I didn’t play in the final, but it was a great source of joy to win my first title with Real Madrid.  I also participated a lot in this tournament, scoring, for example, the goal in the semifinal against Sevilla.  My goal in Lyon in the round of 16 was also a great moment.  There were many positive things this season.  I came to Madrid to win titles and I’ve gotten one.  But I’m not going to stop now.

Mourinho usually says the second season is always the best.  How do you see it?

I think like him, that we’re going to be very strong this year.  The group is fantastic.  We all get along well.  We have a great coach.  I’m very optimistic about next season.

Did you ever see yourself leaving Madrid?

Never!  I repeat, never!  I never back down in difficult moments.  That’s my philosophy.  I know that when one is lucky enough to be part of a club as important as Real Madrid, one should be prepared to suffer.  It’s part of the game.

How do you see the upcoming season?  What are your objectives?

The first thing that I want is to be in good physical shape so that I can give the best of myself during the entire season.  And I’m doing everything possible for that.  On July 11, I will be ready to fight.  I don’t have the custom of setting an objective in terms of the number of goals I’m going to score.  What I want is to have a tremendous season.  I know that I’m going to improve and I’m going to score many goals.

You also like assisting goals…

Yes, it’s true that I assisted in many goals last season.  It’s also something that I like.  A good pass can be beautiful.  I’m a goal-scorer, but, from the time I was small, if I saw a teammate in a better position to score, I’d give him the ball.  I believe a forward should be capable of doing two things: scoring and assisting.  I’m not an egotist.

Your compatriot Raphaël Varane will have his medical today and sign his contract.  He was recommended by Zidane.  Thoughts?

The fact that he was recommended by Zidane says everything.  I believe Varane made the right choice because Madrid is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  You have to take advantage of the opportunity.  I welcome him.  He can count on me to speak with him and help him with his new life in Madrid.

You were only 21 when you came here and you know how tough it is to leave your country and family.

Of course I know.  That’s why I’ll be there for Raphaël for whatever he needs.

What kind of influence has Zidane had on you this season?

In the beginning, when I arrived in Madrid, Zidane and I weren’t so close, but naturally, with the passing of time, we developed a friendship.  We speak on the phone, we see each other, he helps me and gives me advice.  This past season, we saw him a lot in Valdebebas.  Zidane knows a lot about football and his presence with us helps us a lot.

What message would you like to send to the fans?

I want to tell them that we’re going to experience great moments together this upcoming season, and that we’re going to fight for all the titles that are in play.  On a personal level, I’m going to do everything possible to be worthy of this club and this shirt.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Canon permalink
    June 27, 2011 10:26

    Great interview! Great translate!
    Thank you, Una!!!

  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    June 27, 2011 13:21

    I find it hard to imagine Benz on bike after his many cars accidents :P.

    Yes! I really love Benz, I want to see him succeding with us!

  3. manie permalink
    June 27, 2011 13:33

    I really liked this interview…Karim, maybe because he’s on vacation, sounds a lot more excited than he has in past interviews. Thanks for translating!

  4. Jessie permalink
    June 27, 2011 14:48

    great interview, and next season he’ll be even better!

  5. Gilly B permalink
    June 27, 2011 17:18

    That was a lovely interview. He sounds more mature, focused and happier.

    Thanks for translating Una:-)

    • bbBenz permalink
      June 28, 2011 06:59

      he sounds more mature indeed 😀 i like his philosophy

  6. June 28, 2011 12:25

    Love benzene he has really stepped up to the plate and is on the path to fulfilling his potential … THANK YOU UNAMADRISTA for posting this !!

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