MX23RW : Tuesday, October 23 12:25:35

Julen Lopetegui: 'Karim Benzema is a key player for Real Madrid'

Lopetegui: 'Benzema is a key player'
© Reuters
Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui says that Karim Benzema will be a key part of his team in the coming season despite the Frenchman's lack of goals last term.

Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has insisted that Karim Benzema will be a key part of his team in the coming season despite the Frenchman's lack of goals last term.

Benzema has found the back of the net on 192 occasions since arriving at Madrid, but the centre-forward only managed five La Liga goals during the 2017-18 campaign.

The 30-year-old was strongly linked with a move to Italy earlier this summer, but Lopetegui has tipped the Frenchman to enjoy a strong season at the Bernabeu.

"With Benzema we are happy. He trained very well, he is in great form, excited and enthusiastic. Surely he will help us in all facets, not only with his goals," Lopetegui told reporters. "He contributes a lot to the team and we are happy for what he does."

The European champions will officially begin their 2018-19 campaign on Wednesday night, with capital rivals Atletico Madrid their opponents in the UEFA Super Cup.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona953123111218
2Espanyol9522137617
3AlavesAlaves9522128417
4Sevilla95132012816
5Atletico MadridAtletico9441105516
6Real Valladolid943286215
7Real Madrid9423139414
8Levante94141415-113
9Real Sociedad93331211112
10Getafe933388012
11Real Betis933357-212
12EibarEibar9324912-311
13Celta Vigo92431313010
14Valencia917178-110
15GironaGirona92431013-310
16Villarreal923478-19
17Athletic Bilbao8152913-48
18Leganes9225813-58
19Rayo Vallecano8125817-95
20Huesca9126720-135

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