Mourinho defends Benzema, praises Ronaldo ahead of Hercules game

16:06, October 30, 2010      

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Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho defended under pressure striker Karim Benzema and praised in-form Cristiano Ronaldo in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's BBVA Primera Liga game against Hercules in Alicante.

Benzema has been criticized by the press for his poor performances and apparent lack of effort at the start of the current season.

He has scored just one goal this campaign and again drew a blank in his side's 0-0 draw in the Copa del Rey away to lowly Murcia on Tuesday.

While placing the responsibility for Benzema's form firmly in the striker's own hands, Mourinho said there was still time for him to save his Real Madrid career.

"What happens with the player is the responsibility of the player and the person who has to recover the player is the player. The coach is merely a collaborator," said Mourinho from the club's training ground at Valdebebas.

"Little of what is said about him is true. He is not playing well, that is a fact, but he's not dead yet, nor is he out of the club," said the coach, who included Benzema in the squad for Saturday's game.

"There are other players who are not scoring goals and nobody says anything about them at all. Two months ago people said Cristiano Ronaldo wasn't scoring and look what's happened there," continued Mourinho, who expressed his pleasure in Ronaldo's form over the past month.

After a slow start to the season, Ronaldo hit form in October and is now top scorer in Spain with 11 goals in all competitions, four of which arrived in last weekend's 6-1 thrashing of Racing Santander

"I think he is a great team player. We are in October, he has played and won with Portugal. He has played and won with Real Madrid. I didn't know him personally before coming here and what I see is a team player, who cares about winning. He has had an incredible month because the teams are winning and I see that he wants to carry on like that," said the Real Madrid coach.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:梁军)

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