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Chelsea vs Real Madrid: Took huge humility to understudy Ronaldo – Rio Ferdinand hails Benzema

Former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, has praised Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema, for being prepared to take a back seat to Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid despite “knowing inside he’s the top man.”

Ferdinand said Benzema showed huge humility by playing as an understudy to Ronaldo when the Portuguese captain was his teammate at Real Madrid.

The former England international said this as Benzema led Real Madrid to beat Chelsea 3-1 in a Champions League quarter-final first-leg tie on Wednesday.

Recall that Benzema, who scored a hat-trick against Chelsea, joined Real Madrid at the same time as Ronaldo back in the summer of 2009.

Both forwards spent nine seasons as teammates before Ronaldo moved to Juventus and then back to Manchester United, and Benzema has stepped up in the absence of his former colleague.

Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand said: “The fact he played as understudy to Cristiano Ronaldo shows a huge amount of humility.

“To be able to do that, knowing inside he’s the top man, he’s at the table, he can score goals but is willing to take a step back for the betterment of the team is a huge, huge trait to have.”

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