Real Madrid´s Karim Benzema had a great game in the Spanish Super Cup first leg against Barcelona. Here, the Frenchman talks to
– How did you feel after the first official game of the season?
Very good, to be honest. I think the season has started well. It was a good game and I think the fans liked what they saw on the pitch. Two great teams faced each other but, honestly, Madrid undoubtedly deserved to win. As you saw, we were much better than Barca, but hey, we know the chance to win in Barcelona and lift the Super Cup is in our own hands.
– It seems Mourinho´s Madrid now knows how to play against Guardiola´s Barca…
A lot of things have changed from last season. This time we dominated possession and didn´t allow them to play. Exactly what you need against an opponent like this. If you let Barca play they will make you dance to their tune.
– Do you still feel you´ve got a chance of winning the Spanish Super Cup?
Yes, of course. It´s a title we want and the 2-2 draw leaves us room for optimism. I´m certain the game in Barcelona will be open and we are going there to win.
– On Sunday you looked comfortable on the pitch and had a great game. You also did a lot of work…
I defended a lot. It was all planned. The Coach decided on tactics where he asked the forwards to apply pressure further up the pitch and prevent Barca from bringing the ball out. I think we did that well. It was a very effective tactic. Personally, I felt very fresh. I can trust my legs.
– Do you now feel first choice at Madrid?
What I have to do is always work to be one. That´s the challenge lying ahead. In a team such as Madrid every place is fought for every day, so you can´t afford to rest on your laurels.
– On Sunday you pressed a lot, especially early on. It looked as if you wanted to strike an early blow to show everybody that the pre-season optimism was not an illusion.
It wasn´t like that. We didn´t want to show anything in particular, but to give everything we had. Therefore, it was logical we did good things on the pitch. But it´s only the beginning of the season and I can assure you I´ll be doing everything I can.
– You are now getting more playing time. How have things changed for you overall?
I see more of the ball and my teammates now look for me more. There are so many good passers in the team that I´m going to get a lot of chances to score, and I have to convert them into goals.
– The confidence Mourinho now has in you is noticeable. It wasn’t like that last season…
I´ve said many times I´ve never had a problem with Mourinho. I´ve spoken with him and I now understand perfectly what he wants from me. I´m 100% and I can accomplish whatever he asks of me. As everybody knows, I did some specific work during the holidays and that is now coming to fruition.
The original Spanish version of this interview conducted by Fr