In contrast to the burgeoning feel-good factor at Madrid this season, with the Spanish giants still unbeaten under new coach Jose Mourinho and flying high at the top of La Liga and their Champions League group, Benzema is not having an easy time of it.

The 22-year-old has struggled to impress since his big-money move from Lyon in the summer of 2009, and so far this season he has struck just one goal.

The France international was given a rare starting opportunity in last night`s Copa del Rey tie at third tier Real Murcia but was unable to make a breakthrough before being replaced in the 62nd minute of the goalless draw.

Benzema has found himself under the media spotlight, but Brazilian full-back Marcelo was quick to defend the forward, saying: "He has great quality, we all know that, and I think that because of this people are putting him under pressure where there isn`t any.

"We can all go through good and bad runs of forms. I`ve no doubt that he`s going to help us a lot this season and that he`s going to give everything in every game he plays."