Karim Benzema praises return of former Tottenham midfielder Modric

Karim Benzema France

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema admits the team missed Croatian midfielder Luka Modric during his four-month lay-off due to a pelvis injury.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has spoken of his delight at the return of Luka Modric from injury.

Modric had been sidelined for four months with a pelvic injury, but he is back in action and provided a silver lining to Real's defeat against Barcelona.

In an interview with MARCA, Benzema, who has joined the French national team in Clairefontaine, is still feeling the team's El Clasico loss at the Camp Nou last Sunday evening and feels that the team lasted as long as Luka Modric, as it all fell apart after the midfielder was subbed off.

"It's a shame, above all, we wanted to win," he said.

"We had chances and we played at a high level in the first half. Luka's return is good for us. He always plays it forward and that's important for us. We missed him a lot."

Benzema went on to insist that despite being four points behind Barcelona in the La Liga title race, the team refuses to give up because Barcelona have very difficult games on the horizon.

"We have to keep improving. Barcelona has a few difficult dates on the calendar, they travel to Sevilla and host Valencia. It's on us to win out and hope Barcelona slip up. Anything can happen and we're not going to throw in the towel. We continue thinking about La Liga and the Champions League."

Benzema concluded by discussing their upcoming Champions League opponent, their cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid, who they have struggled against since the arrival of Diego Simeone, who just agreed to be a thorn in Madrid's side for five more years.

"Atletico are very difficult, they always are, but if you look at Madrid in the Champions League, they always prevail. We are very excited about competing in Europe," he concluded.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch