Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has admitted there is now extra pressure on him to score goals following the summer departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, but he uses that as motivation to meet expectation rather than let it be a burden.
Benzema managed just five La Liga goals last season, how lowest tally since joining Real nine years ago. He has bounced back in Ronaldo's absence, already matching that number and reaching double figures in all competitions.
"People always demand more of me because Madrid is the best club in the world and everyone calls for more goals and assists from their striker, that's to be expected," he told RealMadridTV.
"It motivates me to have a fantastic year, which is important. Before, we had Cristiano but he's not here to get the goals now so that falls more on me. I'm extremely motivated and well prepared for it," he added.
Benzema, who will celebrate his 31st birthday next month, recently scored his 200th goal in Real colours. He is the seventh highest scorer in the club's storied history and still remains keen on carrying on for as long as possible.
"I feel great at this club and long may it continue. I'm always happy when I'm out on the pitch. I'm content with the ball at my feet and I always try to score goals and set them up," he said.
"You can see out there that I'm playing well, I feel fighting fit, motivated and eager to have a great year. This is a crucial year for everyone. We're looking good now, playing as a team and we all attack and defend together."