Real Madrid: Karim Benzema has found his best form after losing ‘two or three kilos’, says Arsene Wenger

‘Until I was 30 I was two or three extra kilos!’: Arsene Wenger claims Karim Benzema’s Indian summer for Real Madrid is the result of weight loss… insisting the Bernabeu hero is now one of the three best strikers in the world after becoming a ‘true athlete’

  • Karim Benzema scored the 43rd goal of the season in Real Madrid’s victory against Man City
  • The Frenchman’s penalty helped seal a dramatic comeback in the Champions League
  • Benzema has discovered his best goalscoring moment at the age of 34 this season
  • Arsene Wenger attributes his sudden rise to losing ‘two or three kilos’

Arsene Wenger believes Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is having the best time of his career at 34 because he is now a “real athlete”.

Benzema raised his scoring tally for the season to 43 on Wednesday night, scoring a crucial penalty in Madrid’s dramatic Champions League semi-final victory over Manchester City.

The French leader has spent nearly 13 years at Real, but until this campaign his best goal return in all competitions was 30.

Arsene Wenger says Karim Benzema's remarkable rise is due to losing 'two or three kilos'

Arsene Wenger says Karim Benzema’s remarkable rise is due to losing ‘two or three kilos’

Benzema scored his 43rd goal of the season in Madrid's dramatic victory against Man City

Benzema scored his 43rd goal of the season in Madrid’s dramatic victory against Man City

In the 2021-22 season, Benzema has enjoyed an Indian summer, with his devastating form in front of goal helping Carlo Ancelotti’s men win the Spanish title and reach this month’s Champions League final.

And Wenger attributes his improvement in his mid-30s to weight loss, stating that he was “five or seven pounds heavier” into his 30s.

“It’s an interesting thing that we’re seeing right now across Europe: the oldest strikers are the most efficient,” the former Arsenal manager told beIN SPORTS.

Robert Lewandowski, Benzema, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, are scoring goals at 35 and 40.

‘The best strikers in Europe are all over 30 years old. They use each opponent’s mistake.

Benzema celebrates against PSG in March this year

The striker takes a breather during a 2017 match, when he was 29 years old

Benzema is shown celebrating against PSG in March (left) and taking a breather during a match in 2017 (right) before losing weight, according to Wenger.

The Frenchman yells at the Bernabéu crowd after scoring the winning goal against City

The Frenchman yells at the Bernabéu crowd after scoring the winning goal against City

‘Benzema, I would say, until he was 30, he had two or three extra kilos. He is now a true athlete and that is why today, certainly, he is one of the two or three best strikers in the world.

Benzema has been one of the driving forces in Real Madrid’s remarkable run to the Champions League final, which has seen them defeat PSG, Chelsea and City in dramatic circumstances to reach the final.

He scored consecutive hat-tricks in the second leg of the round of 16 against PSG and in the first leg of the quarter-final at Stamford Bridge, before also scoring in the decider against the Blues.

The veteran then fired a brace in last week’s opening 4-3 defeat against City, which preceded his winning penalty on Wednesday night.

The former Arsenal manager believes he is now one of the top three strikers in world football.

The former Arsenal manager believes he is now one of the top three strikers in world football.

Wenger added about Benzema: “I would say it is a display of intelligence and efficiency. Everything he does is smart and looks simple.

When I see him play, I think I could do the same. He smells the rhythm of the match like nobody else.

Ancelotti has been well aware of Benzema’s importance to Madrid for a long time, saying ahead of their quarter-final win over Chelsea: “We depend on Benzema.

‘That’s right, we’re not going to deny it. And I am very happy that we depend on Karim. It’s a reality, and it’s a good thing.

‘Karim is a modern striker and [does] what is required of the strikers. Everything, including defensive work. He is the perfect representation of what a center forward should be in today’s football.’

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