Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema says Zinedine Zidane is more than just a coach, and thinks of him as a brother.
Benzema opened the scoring to put Madrid on their way to a 2-0 Club World Cup semi-final success over Club America in Yokohama on Thursday, running to embrace Zidane on the touchline to celebrate.
The victory was wrapped up in second-half stoppage time when Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 500th club career goal, sealing Madrid’s place in Sunday’s final against Kashima Antlers.
Benzema was glowing in his praise of Zidane post-match, while also reflecting on a productive 2016.
“He is like a brother,” the forward told Teledeporte. “He is an example for me and I am very happy to work with him.
“It has not been a difficult year, I just have not played well in two or three games.
“It’s been a very good year, where I have won titles with Real Madrid and I’ve scored many goals.”
Zidane, meanwhile, was pleased for his compatriot, as he began to turn his attentions to Sunday’s showdown.
“I’m happy for him and all the players. I’m happy above all to win. I was happy to see him score and he gave me a hug,” Zidane said.
“Now we have one game left in order to lift the trophy, and we’ll prepare well for it.
“We didn’t have too many chances in the first half. It was a strange game, the rhythm was very low, we dropped to the level they were playing at a little.
“Then we got the goal before the break and that was important.”