Navas praises ‘hugely important’ Benzema

GIRONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 31: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrates scoring to make it 2-0 during the Copa del Quarter Final match between Girona and Real Madrid at Montilivi Stadium on January 31, 2019 in Girona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images )

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas was full of praise for team-mate Karim Benzema following his brace in their Copa del Rey 3-1 win at Girona.

The French striker continued his brilliant patch of form on Thursday night at Catalonia by extending his scoring run to five goals in three games.

Benzema got his first of game against Girona in the 27th-minute by curling the ball into the net before doubling Real’s advantage just two minutes till the break.

Marcos Llorente was the other scorer as Real progressed to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 7-3 aggregate win over Girona.

“He’s hugely important for us, we’ve always defended him because we know what a great player he is,” Navas told the club website on Benzema.

“We know what he brings to the team, he’s a reference and we’re very happy that he’s playing how he is”.

While Los Blancos have enjoyed great success in recent times with a stunning four Champions League crowns in the past five years, things haven’t gone so well domestically.

In the last 10 years, Real have only won two La Liga titles and two Copa del Reys.

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Navas added: “We’re delighted, thank God we’re through to the semi-finals, we haven’t got this far for the last couple of years.

“We have to enjoy it and keep going, we played against top opposition today. I’m thrilled every time I get the chance to play. You always have to be ready. You enjoy being out on the pitch, and even more so when you win, so we should all be happy”.

“I don’t go on to the pitch thinking I’ve got to stand out. My situation has changed a fair bit in the last few months.

“It’s not easy to be playing once every month and a half, you have to be mentally strong. I do it for the people who believe in me, my family, my kids, they really motivate me”.