The Portugal international now shares second place in the all-time standings after his winner at St. Jakob-Park, meaning he is now just three behind record-holder Lionel Messi
The Portuguese star and Barcelona rival Lionel Messi were in a race to take over as the tournament’s all-time leading marksman as they closed in on Raul’s tally of 71 goals around the same time.
The Argentine broke the former Spain striker’s record by bagging a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 4-0 victory at APOEL on Tuesday, taking his overall tally to 74 goals.
Ronaldo moved level with Raul on 71 goals by netting the only goal at St. Jakob-Park, but Benzema denied that his colleague is determined to overhaul Messi at the top of the standings.
“Cristiano doesn’t ask me to pass him the ball in order for him to break the record,” Benzema told beIN Sports after teeing up the Portuguese for the winner in Switzerland.
“Frankly, he doesn’t ask for anything. But when he’s well positioned on the pitch, I offer him the ball.”
Madrid’s victory not only sealed top spot in Group B for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, it also saw the club from the Spanish capital complete a home-and-away double over Basel.
However, while the Blancos cruised to a 5-1 victory in their first meeting at the Santiago Bernabeu on matchday one, the reigning European champions were made to work harder for all three points in Switzerland.
“It was not an easy game,” Benzema acknowledged. “It wasn’t the same side as the first game. It was much more complicated.”
Meanwhile, Keylor Navas was a happy man after keeping a clean sheet in a rare start in goal for the Costa Rica international at the expensie of regular No.1 Iker Casillas.
“It’s a tournament that everyone loves to play in so I’m happy that we won and that I was able to contribute a bit to the victory,” the shot-stopper stated.
“I am calm, working hard. Little by little I’m getting more opportunities.
“Everyone wants to play some more, but we must go step by step.”