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Kovacic: Benzema is incredible

Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic has taken the time to praise Karim Benzema in the wake of Wednesday's 2-1 La Liga win over Athletic Bilbao.

The France international has been in fine form in the opening weeks of the 2015-16 campaign and netted twice against Athletic to guide Madrid to victory, taking his league tally to five goals in four appearances in the process.

"Benzema is incredible, he helps the team out a lot with his goals, just as Cristiano Ronaldo does," Kovacic told reporters.

"I'm delighted that he's enjoying this hot streak in front of goal."

Against Athletic, Kovacic featured from the start for Madrid for the first time since joining from Inter and he was grateful to Rafael Benitez for the faith shown in him.

"I'd like to thank Rafa Benítez for the trust he placed in me; I really enjoyed playing Wednesday's match. I'm very happy," he said.

"It was a very tough match, but in the end we got what we came for, a win and three points.

"We played very well in the first half, not so well in the second, and Athletic made things extremely difficult for us through the pressure their defenders put on us."