Benzema told to work
Karim Benzema has been told to work harder and have more ambition to make the most of his talents.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 30/09/10 3:12pm
France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has been told he needs to work harder and have more ambition to make the most of his talents.
The France international has found first-team football hard to come by since his big-money move to Spain last summer.
But he was included in Real's starting XI on Tuesday for the UEFA Champions League victory at Auxerre, although he did not impress.
Afterwards, Real boss Jose Mourinho talked with France coach Laurent Blanc about the striker and how he can improve.
Mourinho, who has criticised Benzema in the past for not giving enough during training sessions, told Canal+: "I am talking a lot about Karim with Laurent. We both believe he has huge qualities.
"But maybe he needs to play with more ambition."
Blanc does not believe it is a problem of ambition, rather the striker simply needs to work harder.
He told France Soir: "It is not a lack of ambition matter. I believe for some players it is a surprise when they realise their natural qualities are not enough and they have to work tactically and collectively.
"He is not used to work. When you have a tête-à-tête with him, he is listening to you.
"But that kind of player meets people who say: 'You are the best, you are playing at Real Madrid, you don't need to work.' They are not real friends.
He added: "I hope (Karim understands) that what Jose and I say about him is to help him realise just quite how much potential he really has, to do much more than he has done so far."
Benzema scored in France's last Euro qualifier against Bosnia and Blanc has stuck with the striker for the upcoming clashes against Romania and Luxembourg, despite the player not featuring regularly for Real and struggling to make an impression against Auxerre.
Blanc added: "A lot of players score for their clubs and not for their country. Everyone saw how well he played against Bosnia."