Holding a press conference ahead of Manchester City’s return leg against Real Madrid in the Champions League, Pep Guardiola was asked about Karim Benzema.
The Frenchman was absolutely central to Zinedine Zidane’s men lifting the La Liga title this season, scoring 26 goals and assisting another 11 in 47 appearances, which led to a rather odd question from a journalist.
Someone asked the Manchester City manager if he thought Benzema could be compared to Lionel Messi, which Guardiola dismissed, explaining that while he thought the striker was exceptional, he’s simply on a list of about 20 players who have been compared to the Argentine in the past.
That, as you may have guessed, didn’t go down well with the Real Madrid player, at least according to El Chiringuito journalist Edu Aguirre.
🚨EXCLUSIVA de @EduAguirre7 🚨
— El Chiringuito TV (@elchiringuitotv) August 6, 2020
He explained Benzema was ‘furious’ when he first heard what Guardiola had said, not because of the words per se, but the manner in which he used them.
However, he added: “I’ve been told that he has converted this anger in motivation (…) The rage he had, because he didn’t understand how Guardiola could speak that way, he has transformed it into the will to win (tonight) and silence Guardiola”.
Now, this has all got to be backed up on the pitch, as Real Madrid have to turn around a 2-1 deficit at the Etihad, having lost the first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu.
It’s no easy task, but having finished the season on an 11 game unbeaten run, spirits will be high within Zidane’s camp, and we all know anything is possible in knockout football.