Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Real Madrid talisman Karim Benzema was a target for legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Speaking in the aftermath of the riveting encounter between Real Madrid and Chelsea earlier this week, as quoted by Daily Mirror, Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to bring Karim Benzema to Manchester United several years ago while adding that the failure to sign him would be one of the legendary former manager’s regrets.

Karim Benzema has established himself as one of the best players in the world since joining Real Madrid from Lyon several years ago. But it is particularly following Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from the Santiago Bernabeu nearly four years ago that the Frenchman has been unleashed as a prolific striker.

The 34-year-old has shown no signs of age catching up with him while scoring goals for fun. And Benzema has been in the form of his life this season, amassing 38 goals and 13 assists in 38 outings across all competitions. The French striker’s exploits have earned him the status of being the Real Madrid talisman.

The latest exhibit of Benzema’s excellence on the pitch came in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League clash against Chelsea earlier this week. With the quarter-final evenly poised and all tied up at 4-4, Benzema latched onto a superb pass by Vinicius Jr. to score the goal that made the difference and sealed Real Madrid’s place in the semi-finals.

While Vinicius Jr. dug deep and worked hard to create the chance, Benzema showed elite movement and awareness to convert it and clinch the tie for Real Madrid. And Rio Ferdinand was all praises for the Real Madrid talisman after the game, with the Manchester United legend revealing that Sir Alex Ferguson tried to bring him to Old Trafford several years ago.

“The first time I played against him was 2008, and that was the first time I had seen him up close and personal. If you see the goal he scored against us, look how many players are around him, but all he needed was one touch, it was all one motion.”

“I remember coming off the pitch and Sir Alex Ferguson said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m trying to get him.’ But with his African connections, and how influential Real Madrid were, he chose them. I think looking back, Sir Alex will believe that is one of his biggest regrets not getting him to sign for the club.”

Sir Alex Ferguson is not a man to have regrets in life. But failure to sign Benzema has to be one of the biggest misses of the legendary former Manchester United manager’s career. Manchester United’s loss was Real Madrid’s gain, with Benzema going from strength to strength in the last decade and a half.

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