The Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has come under intense criticism in recent months after failing to show form in front of goal. The 25-year-old has managed just eight goals in 22 appearances for Real Madrid this season, while he has won 11 matches without scoring for his international team – France.

His struggles in front of goal this season have been compared with the struggles he faced when he initially arrived at the Real Madrid. In his first season at the club, he managed just eight goals. The last two seasons, though, Benzema has been able to show the kind of form that persuaded Madrid to pay £35 million for his services.

Despite this criticism, his teammate at Madrid – Sergio Ramos – has leapt to his defence. Ramos has said that doubting the qualities of Benzema is madness because of the quality that the striker possesses. He has said that Benzema has the ability to turn the match around whether it be for France or Real Madrid. According to Ramos, Benzema is almost unstoppable when he is on form. He is of the opinion that the Spaniards will have to be wary of the threat posed by Benzema when they take on France in a crucial World Cup qualifying match.

“Doubting a footballer like Benzema is madness. He’s an outstanding striker for Madrid and France who can turn a match around. Everyone is free to think what they want, but when he’s on form there are few strikers who are as good as him. You have to be very focused facing him, because if you make one mistake he’ll score against you,” said Ramos. Spain come into the match on the back of a disappointing run of form, which has seen them draw 1-1 against Finland. As a result, they are in the second position behind France in the group.