He's hugely important, Navas hails in-form Benzema

Karim Benzema continued his fine form for Real Madrid, earning praise from team-mate Keylor Navas.

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema.   -  Getty Images

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas praised Karim Benzema after the forward's goal-scoring form continued on Thursday.

Benzema scored a first-half brace in Madrid's 3-1 win over Girona as it sealed a 7-3 aggregate success in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

The Frenchman has now netted five times in his past three games, moving onto 17 in all competitions this season.

Navas hailed the 31-year-old and said Benzema had always been a key for Madrid.

"He's hugely important for us, we've always defended him because we know what a great player he is," he said.

"We know what he brings to the team, he's a reference and we're very happy that he's playing how he is."

Madrid are into the last four of the Copa del Rey and could face rivals Barcelona in an El Clasico semifinal.

But Navas played down the importance of the draw, with Valencia and Real Betis also in the semis

"We’re relaxed, if we want to win the cup we have to beat whoever we're drawn against," he said.

"We have to take the draw seriously and be hungry to play."

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