A Real Madrid star with African origins has lifted the lid on his "very strong" bond with coach Zinedine Zidane, claiming that the three-time UEFA Champions League winning coach is like a big brother to him.
Los Blancos striker Karim Benzema, who shares a common Algerian heritage with Zidane, enjoyed his best goal tally in Spain's top flight in the 2014/15 campaign with 24 goals in 27 matches under the guidance of the Frenchman.
Benzema was a rare of light in Real's underwhelming 2018/19 campaign, leading the club's top scorer charts with 21 strikes in 34 games, and revealed exactly what makes his relationship with Zidane so special.
"He is like my family." Benzema said on Diario AS.
"It's a very strong relationship that started a long time ago, I met him before he was a coach and he helped me a lot. We talk about football and life, he is like my big brother and he has helped me a lot.
"It's more than friendship, it's like he is part of my family, but that does not stop him from reproaching me or the other way round," he added.
Despite coming under scrutiny throughout the years, the 31-year-old, who is Real's sixth all-time top scorer with 222 goals in 463 appearances in all competitions described his stay with the Spanish giants as "incredible".
"My time at Real Madrid since 2009 has been incredible, as time goes by, it seems very strange to me.
"I am proud of the way my time here has progressed. It is not bad for a footballer's career, especially being in one of the best clubs in the world.
"I feel good in this club. This season has been complicated because we have not achieved titles, but personally for me it was good and I want to continue this improvement."
Benzema is likely to have competition in spearheading Real's attacking line next season, following the reported arrival of Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic for a fee €60 million (R958 million).
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