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 By Ian Holyman

Karim Benzema: Real Madrid are in a golden age and I won't look elsewhere

Karim Benzema has told beIN SPORTS he has no reason to leave Real Madrid, saying the Champions League winners are in "one of their best periods ever."

Benzema is into the final 12 months of the five-year contract extension he signed with Madrid in 2014 and will have been at the Bernabeu for a decade next summer.

The France international wants to extend his stay, saying: "As a forward, when you're at a club and you're a first-team regular, you don't need to look elsewhere -- especially when you're at a club like Real Madrid.

"It's very hard because you know this club, the expectations. You start each season from scratch and you have to work, and above all stay at the top."

Benzema's partnership with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo -- Madrid's "BBC" -- has been a cornerstone of their success, and he said a well-established team core had also been crucial.

"There are perhaps six or seven players who have been playing together for six or seven years," he added.

"I think we're in one of Real Madrid's best periods ever, it's as simple as that. The team is really very strong."

He said he believed it was the strongest Madrid squad he had ever been part of "because there's not just the first-team regulars, there are also the substitutes that make the difference."

Meanwhile, Benzema said he thought it was "bizarre" that Neymar had opted to leave Madrid's rivals Barcelona and join Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record move.

"I'm not going to say I'm shocked, because he does what he wants," he said. "I thought it was bizarre, but he undoubtedly has his reasons."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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