Benzema ready to shine on big stage | sports | Hindustan Times
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Benzema ready to shine on big stage

France’s Karim Benzema said on Sunday the prospect of being one of the big attractions at Euro 2008 was not at all intimidating.

sports Updated: Jun 04, 2008 15:55 IST

France’s Karim Benzema said on Sunday the prospect of being one of the big attractions at Euro 2008 was not at all intimidating.

The 20-year-old striker, this season’s revelation with 20 Ligue 1 goals for champions Olympique Lyon, said that he was not surprised to find himself about to play his first major event. “This is normal, it’s a logical step forward for me after the season. I’ve had with Lyon,” said Benzema. He celebrated his first cap with a goal in a 1-0 win over Austria in March last year and has played just 10 internationals but has already become an automatic choice for coach Raymond Domenech.

An exciting mix of power and skill, Benzema, who helped Lyon to their first domestic League and Cup double this season, is likely to be preferred to Nicolas Anelka or newcomer Bafetimbi Gomis for a spot alongside Thierry Henry. Domenech paired Benzema with Henry in attack in a 0-0 warmup draw with Paraguay and is expected to do the same for the side’s first match, against Romania on June 9 in Zurich. He would not mind being picked for France’s matches against the Netherlands and Italy.

Spain prevail over Peru

Huelva: A spectacular volley from defender Joan Capdevila earned Spain a last-gasp 2-1 win over Peru in a warm-up for Euro 2008.

The match looked to be heading for a draw after Peru striker Hernan Rengifo had cancelled out a first-half goal from David Villa but Capdevila smashed home from close range three minutes into injury time to secure the victory. The victory extended Spain’s unbeaten record to 15 games before next month's tournament. Agencies

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