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Karim Benzema leads Al Ittihad with high ambitions in Club World Cup

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Karim Benzema leads Al Ittihad with high ambitions in Club World Cup

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Arabian Weekly report

JEDDAH — French star Karim Benzema, captain of Al Ittihad, said that he and his teammates are entering the Club World Cup with a strong mentality and high ambitions.

Benzema, who previously won the title with Real Madrid, will lead Al Ittihad in the new World Cup journey, starting with a match against New Zealand’s Auckland City on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference, Benzema said, “It’s a new and different experience; everything is expected on the field. We will face a strong team, and we are prepared for the challenge.

“The most important thing is to enjoy with high ambitions. We will approach each match with the mentality that it could be the last, so we will work for victory.”

The former Real Madrid player added: “We enter with a strong mentality supported by the fans. We are a fantastic team, and we will unify our ranks to achieve victory.”

“The tournament will be different, with strong teams. We will do our utmost. We know that we must perform at a higher level. Our team is excellent, and of the first class. We must deliver victories.”

Acknowledging the challenges, the Al Ittihad striker admitted “I am not satisfied with what we have shown in the league, but this is football. We try to play together.

“My message to the fans is that we will do everything we can to win the Club World Cup because it is an important tournament for us.”

Regarding coach Gallardo, Benzema said: “I am happy to work with Marcelo Gallardo. His achievements in Argentina were wonderful, and he was a great player; there is no doubt about that.

“When I talk to him, we connect as players, and I am confident in his success with us. I am happy that Gallardo is our coach because he is close to us players.”

Asked about facing Egypt’s Al-Ahly, Benzema recalled, “I remember the match between Real Madrid and Al-Ahly; we won the title afterward.

“It was an unforgettable match; we were surprised by the strength of the opponent at that time, and we were not ready to face them. I think the audience enjoyed that match.”

Benzema explained “Pressure is an integral part of life, and positive pressure achieves positive results.

“My message to my teammates is to enjoy every moment because we don’t know if we will be here in the next edition. We play to enjoy and win; that’s the mentality we play with.”

Al-Ittihad’s captain concluded “Football is played on the field and not on paper.

“Tomorrow we will play 11 against 11, and the strong team does not win on paper but wins on the field. We must play with the right mentality, and at that time, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is.”

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