Zinedine Zidane believes that Karim Benzema is the best striker in world football after the Frenchman's hat-trick against Athletic Bilbao.
Real Madrid were far from at their best on Sunday, but claimed the points thanks to Benzema, who scored for a fifth game running as his sensational season continued.
Benzema has now netted 29 goals in all competitions this term and Zidane is delighted that the former Lyon man's quality has come to the fore.
"He's two goals shy of his best record here," said the Madrid boss. "Everyone has their tastes. For me, he is the best.
⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️@Benzema has scored our last EIGHT league goals and has beaten a club record set by Puskas, who netted seven consecutive goals in the 1961/62 league season! #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/fvPUbntN1h— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) April 21, 2019
"It is impressive what he is doing at the level of goals and I am happy for him. He has a lot of confidence and always wants to improve."
Substitute Gareth Bale received whistles when he came onto the pitch and he squandered an opportunity to add further gloss to the victory before teeing up Benzema for his hat-trick goal.
Zidane, however, was left puzzled by the Madrid fans' negative reaction to Bale.
"I do not get it," Zidane said when asked about the treatment of the Wales star.
"[Bale] had a chance to score and I would have liked him to do it. I will not go into the rest.
"We played a great game, we were superior, all we missed was the goal, we are happy with what we did."