Raul ranks Clasico rivals Benzema and Lewandowski alongside Haaland as world’s best

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Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski face off El Clasico on Sunday, with Real Madrid great Raul ranking them as the world’s best strikers.

Real Madrid great Raul ranks Clasico rivals Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski alongside Erling Haaland as the best strikers in world football.

And with the first meeting between Madrid and Barcelona taking place on Sunday, Raul hopes Benzema will outdo Lewandowski at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Madrid and Barca are levels on 22 points in LaLiga after eight games and a thrilling title race looks set to be in store after Los Blancos triumphed by 13 points last term.

Lewandowski’s arrival has been key to Barca’s renaissance, with the Poland international scoring nine times in his first eight LaLiga games.

Lewandowski’s inauspicious start to life in Spain suggests he is likely to surpass Benzema’s league-high tally of 27 league goals from last season.

Raul admires both players and ranks them alongside Haaland – top scorer in Europe’s top five leagues with 20 goals for Manchester City – but Madrid talisman Benzema will of course get the 45-year-old’s support.

“They are perhaps the best strikers with Haaland. They are the ones who have the most ability to score and contribute the most to their teams,” said Raul, who is now the head coach of Real Madrid Castilla.

“Lewandowski is a great signing for LaLiga, he shows his quality. But I hope that Benzema will win the battle of goalscorers on Sunday.”

“I see it as a very exciting match, as always. Both will arrive with the same points. It’s too early [to judge] because it’s October. Whoever wins will be able to come out mentally stronger.

“It will be a very difficult game and Madrid, playing at home and being with their people, have a bit of a favourite.

Benzema overtook Raul in August to move into second place in Madrid’s all-time goalscoring charts, although his tally of 327 goals is some way behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 450.

Meanwhile, Raul’s 15 goals between Madrid and Barcelona have only been surpassed by three players – Lionel Messi (26), Alfredo Di Stefano, and Ronaldo (both 18).

Having trained in Madrid’s youth system, Raul’s ambition is to take charge of the senior team in a future Clasico.

And he added: “I would love to, but I’m very happy where I am now, working with my boys.

“I’m happy and I’m going to enjoy it as a fan, I want us to get those three points, which don’t define anything but give more confidence and morale to the winner.”

Both teams have Champions League games to focus on ahead of Sunday’s game, with Madrid facing Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday and Xavi’s men hosting Inter the following day.

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