Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has heaped praises on Karim Benzema by describing him as a "hugely important player" after the French striker scored a brace to guide the club to a thrilling victory over Eibar.
The 31-year-old continued his rich vein of form for the Spanish giants as he first scored the equalizer in the 59th minute of the match before pulling back another goal in the 81st minute to help Real Madrid secure a narrow 2-1 win over Eibar in the La Liga clash at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Benzema, who was bought by Madrid from Lyon in 2009, has notched up a total of 17 goals in La Liga this season and four in his last three league games.
Reflecting on the same, Zidane said that though Benzema has been scoring more goals in recent times, he has always been crucial for the club.
"He's always been crucial for the team. He's scoring more goals now but he's always been a hugely important player. I want to speak about the team," Zidane said of the French player, who weared the captain's armband during the clash against Eibar.
"Karim is having a great season and he's scoring a lot of goals. People's perception of him has changed as a result, but he's always been a crucial player," goal.com quoted the Madrid manager as saying.
Besides Benzema, Zidane also lauded each player of his team for reacting well and playing for pride in the La Liga match.
"Karim knows very well that the team has been vital for him too and I want to stress just that.I'm delighted for Karim. But every player has reacted well, played for pride and looked to win the game,"he added.
Madrid, who are placed at the third spot and 13 points behind leaders Barcelona, will next lock horns with Leganes on April 16.