Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr: From bad blood to formidable attacking partnership

(Football news) On Tuesday, Real Madrid ran riot over Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League. Los Blancos scored 5 and also kept a clean sheet. At the centre of the action as has been the case this season were Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema. Vinicius scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist while Benzema scored 1 and assisted another in addition to influencing the opening own goal.

It is the perfect case of the master and the apprentice but it hasn't been smooth sailing by any means between these two. When Vinicius came to Real Madrid as an 18-year-old, a 30-year-old Benzema was already a Real Madrid legend. When Vinicius broke into the first team Benzema took him under his wing and the Brazilian had an instant impact with his lightning quick pace and wonderful close control.

The expectations at Real Madrid are very high and one that doesn't change for any player. As Vinicius started playing more and more games, the focus shifted on the Brazilian's poor decision making and abysmal finishing. As time went by Vinicius' lack of confidence was clearly visible when he stopped trying to do tricks and taking on players. He would instead play it safe with a sideways and backwards pass. 

Also read: UCL review: Liverpool edge thriller against Atlético Madrid; Messi's brace rescues PSG; Real Madrid run riot over Shakhtar Donetsk

Karim Benzema would often be left frustrated with the Brazilian and that frustration came out in a UCL game against Borussia Mönchengladbach. After losing their opening UCL game against Shakhtar Donetsk at home in embarrassing fashion, Los Blancos were 1-0 down at half time away at Mönchengladbach. Benzema was caught in the tunnel camera talking to fellow Frenchman Ferland Mendy about Vinicius. Benzema told Mendy to not pass the ball to the Brazilian claiming that he is playing against Real Madrid.

Los Blancos ended up drawing the game in dramatic fashion but the talking point after the game was what Benzema had said. Zinedine Zidane claimed that the pair had spoken to each other and buried their differences if any. The manager also claimed that these kinds of incidents were normal in football and that it had happened to him as well. Vinicius had always maintained that Benzema is his idol and the best player in the world.

This season, Carlo Ancelotti has turned Vinicius Jr into a different beast and the Brazilian already has 7 goals and 5 assists in 11 games this season. Benzema has 11 goals and 8 assists. The pair have combined on multiple occasions this season and are arguably the hottest attacking duo in the world right now. Real Madrid need the duo to fire on all cylinders in their upcoming game which is the mighty El Clasico.


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