According to Los Blancos head coach Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid should not be ashamed to rely upon talisman Karim Benzema.
Benzema has helped Madrid to the LaLiga summit, 12 points clear of Barcelona, who have played a game less.
The former Lyon striker also propelled the LaLiga giants into the ascendancy with his hat-trick in a 3-1 win against Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Stamford Bridge.
Indeed, he became the first player to score a treble against the Blues in a European competition.
He joined Cristiano Ronaldo, Luiz Adriano and Lionel Messi as the fourth player to manage consecutive hat-tricks in the Champions League following his heroics in the last 16 against Paris Saint-Germain.
Only Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (46) has found the net more times in Europe’s top-five leagues in all competitions than Benzema, who has 37 goals to his name in as many appearances.
Ancelotti heaped praise on his star forward as he fielded questions over whether potential transfer target Erling Haaland would be put off Madrid by Benzema’s exploits.
“What a question… I’m sorry I can’t answer.
“But I can say that Benzema is a modern centre-forward. In the past, the number nine would get into the area and finish off whatever was going on there.
“Karim is what modern football demands in a striker, shooting, playing, defensive work, not giving away balls… It’s the perfect representation of what a centre forward should be today”.
Benzema and Vinicius Junior have formed a formidable partnership in this campaign.
With the duo combining for a competition-leading five goals in the Champions League.
Ancelotti referenced the likes of Los Blanco’s greats Ronaldo and Bale as he pointed towards his new pairing.
“The season says that there are two strikers who have stood out a lot, Vinicius and Benzema,” he added.
“In the past, we had Cristiano, Bale… So to say that we are dependent on Benzema is the truth.
“There is no need to hide it. I am very happy to depend on Benzema”.
Benzema has netted 11 times in the Champions League this campaign, the most by a Frenchman in Europe’s premier club competition and as many as he had scored in the previous two editions combined.
He will look to add to that tally at home to Chelsea on Tuesday as Ancelotti aims to qualify for an eighth Champions League semi-final – the joint-most of any coach in history, Jose Mourinho Pep Guardiola.
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