Karim Benzema spoke in a press conference on Thursday after signing a new Real Madrid contract through until 2021. He was asked about Madrid’s slow start to the season, with Wednesday’s 1-0 home defeat to Real Betis seeing them slip seven points behind early leaders Barcelona.
“It’s not been the best start but it can happen to all teams,” Benzema said. “I have faith, it’s just the beginning of the season. We have seven points less [than Barça], but the important thing is that we are together. We are Real Madrid and we will fix things in the next game.
“There’s no anxiety in the dressing room. It’s normal to lose; the best response is to win the next game. We are a great team, we’re united and we will work even harder. Defeats can happen. There are no alarm bells at the club. Now we need to forget the loss.”
On personal criticism, the France striker added: “The criticism doesn’t affect me. It’s part of my life. It’s what happens when you’re at a high level. I’ve accepted it. If you’re criticised, it’s because more is expected of you and I will work hard to make that happen. That allows me to continue at a high level, at Real Madrid it’s always like this.”
And Benzema also said he would like to retire in Madrid having committed his future to the club.
“Madrid’s been like a family for me throughout the most complicated moments of my career,” he said. “They supported me in sporting and non-sporting matters. I feel loved at Real Madrid. I like Real Madrid’s football and of course I want to retire here. There’s no other club like Real Madrid. This will be my last club.”.