Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has reportedly pinned the blame on Cristiano Ronaldo and manager Zinedine Zidane for the club's nightmare start to the 2017/18 La Liga campaign.
Los Blancos, the reigning European and Spanish champions, currently sit 3rd in the league and 10 points behind leaders Barcelona after their goalless draw with Atlético Madrid on Saturday.
According to reports from Spanish outlet Diario Gol, via the Mirror, the French forward met with Real Madrid President Florentino Perez after the Saturday's game, and complained that Ronaldo's propensity to stray into his part of the pitch has been pivotal in his poor form in-front of goal. Benzema has scored just two goals in his last thirteen appearances for his side.
It is also claimed that Benzema believes Ronaldo is being afforded special treatment from Zidane due to his iconic status at the club, and that his rose-tinted view of the Portuguese superstar is damaging the team. Real Madrid play APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League this evening, where they will hope to bounce back from their disappointing weekend.
Speaking in the build-up to the match, via Marca, Zidane moved to defend the poor form of Benzema, claiming:
"He is the first one who wants to give more and who knows he can give more. I'm here to help all the players, not just Karim.
"On the issue of his confidence in front of goal, the plan is to get just one or two openings and then his streak will be flipped around."
Real Madrid will have their work cut out for them in their attempts to overhaul the ten point gap between their side and the top of the table, but next weekend's clash against 18th place Malaga could be just the confidence boosters Zidane's men need to finally kickstart their season.