Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric thinks Benzema deserves more credit from Real Madrid fans, calling him a great goalscorer.

Karim Benzema has suffered multiple setbacks throughout his Real Madrid career, including injuries and scoring droughts, leading to a constant line of criticism against the French striker. His teammate, and latest Ballon d’Or winner, Luka Modric, says that Benzema is much more important to Madrid than what people think.

“He is a very nice person and a great scorer. I think people do not realize how good he is. They do not realize how important he is to our team,” the Croatian midfielder told TeleFoot.

Modric became the first player outside of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or in the last decade. One of his opponents for the award was Real Madrid defender Rapha Verane, who Modric claims told him that the Ballon d’Or was still possible despite losing the World Cup final to France.

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“Rapha is a great player, but first of all a good person, one of the best defenders in the world,” Luka Modric said, as translated by Goal.

“He congratulated me, he was not too sad, I remembered that he told me after the final, that with a little luck, although I did not win the final, I may be able to win the Ballon d’Or.”

Modric, Benzema, and Varane will take on CSKA Moscow Wednesday in Real Madrid’s Champions League bout.

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