Amuneke hails Messi and Benzema's impact since Ronaldo's departure

Emmanuel Amuneke has selected Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema as the Spanish top-flight’s best current players.

Both stars had been impressive for their title-chasing teams before La Liga was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Argentine icon Messi continues to break new boundaries and is showing no signs of slowing down at 32 years of age. He currently leads the topscorer’s chart with 19 goals as his Catalan outfit leads the table with 58 points.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to the Italian top-flight saw Zinedine Zidane’s men turn to Benzema for inspiration, and the Frenchman has not disappointed – accounting for 14 out of 49 goals scored by Los Blancos in La Liga so far.

Speaking to La Liga insider with Goal, the former Africa Player of the Year was quick to pick the duo when asked about his most outstanding player in Spain’s elite division.


“You have the same; you have [Lionel] Messi there is no doubt about that and [Karim] Benzema has improved a lot,” said Amuneke.

“[Cristiano] Ronaldo moving to Juventus gave Benzema the opportunity to exploit more, to contribute more to the team. And I think these two players have been very outstanding for their clubs.

“Although things started very late for Barcelona – it took them time to find their rhythm which is normal, when you bring in new players into the team they need time for adaptation, they need time to get used to the style of the team and you don’t expect things to start functioning immediately.

“But gradually, they have been able to find their rhythm, so I think these two players; Benzema and Messi have been very outstanding.

“You have also some players at Atletico Madrid that are doing very well, unfortunately, Joao Felix is also trying to adapt. He is a very talented player but the situation he finds himself as a new player into the team – trying to find his way is a little bit heavy.”

Amuneke PS
Amuneke PS

Over the years, the Spanish top-flight title has been a contest between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and the former Tanzania coach discusses progress made elsewhere in the league.

“In general, La Liga has been very outstanding and when you look at the history of La Liga, many great players always love to come there either in Real Madrid or Barcelona,” he continued.

“And the good thing in modern football now is that during our time, it’s only Real Madrid and Barcelona that have a comfortable means to buy great players, but today, most of the clubs have means to buy players because there are lots of people who are investing in football, so, this gives a lot of teams opportunities to be in a position to compete.

“Like what Mutiu [Adepoju] was saying about Real Sociedad this season, they have been very outstanding and they have some very exciting players that were signed by Real Madrid, but unfortunately they never had the opportunity to play in the first team. Some of them went to Real Sociedad and have been showing their qualities in helping the team.”

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