Benzema: Real Madrid have a different mentality now

The 26-year-old is confident his side can avenge their Champions League exit to Borussia Dortmund last season and says it is easy to play with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema says his side are mentally stronger than last season as they prepare to face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League quarter-finals.

The two sides met at the semi-final stage last season, when Dortmund ran out 4-1 winners in the first leg and 4-3 victors on aggregate over the tie, but Benzema has insisted that the previous result has been put to the back of the players’ minds.

“Everything has gone well up until now,” the striker is quoted as saying by “We’ve qualified for the quarter-finals and are enjoying a good moment.

“We’ve won nearly all our games and I think the team feels good.”

Despite Dortmund’s patchy form this season, the 26-year-old still sees the German outfit as a strong team and believes their inconsistency is a direct result of their unfortunate injury problems.

“I think they still have the same players, but they’ve had a lot of injuries this season,” he said.

“We have put what happened last season to the back of our minds and now we have a new team with a new mentality. We are not thinking about them, although they are a strong team. We will give it our all to get through this round.

“The goal is to win all three titles [this season] and I think we can do it. We have a good team, a strong enough squad to do it. [Carlo] Ancelotti has brought stability to the team and that is important.”

The striker also praised team-mates Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo and claims the formidable attacking understanding the trio have formed this season is “easy” to maintain.

“Bale and Ronaldo are great players and we have a very good understanding of each other, both on and off the pitch. It is easy to play with players like them, who are skilful, fast and technical,” he added.

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