Real Madrid thrive on pressure of winning trophies - Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema has said Real Madrid thrive on meeting high expectations as they prepare for Wednesday's UEFA Super Cup meeting with Atletico Madrid in Estonia.
Champions League holders Madrid are aiming to win the Super Cup for a fourth time in five years, with the derbi bringing the chance of a first trophy for new coach Julen Lopetegui.
"We've enjoyed a golden age at Real Madrid with all the titles we've won," Benzema told UEFA.
"I think we've been able to build a solid team season after season, as well as give the best of ourselves to get as far as possible.
"There is a lot of pressure and high expectations at the beginning of every season, and that's why I love this club.
"The UEFA Super Cup is another trophy, and we all know when you play for Real Madrid that you must win. It's a title we will give our all to win.
"It will be hard, but we have a fresh team and it would be good to start the season by winning it."
Benzema scored the opening goal against Liverpool in the Champions League final in Kiev, taking advantage of a mistake by goalkeeper Lorus Karius, and said he felt that had been one of his finest games for the club.
"It was a special goal, but it wasn't easy to score," he said. "I knew how to anticipate what the goalkeeper was about to do.
"It meant a lot to me, not just that goal, but the entire final. I think I put in a big performance. It might have been one of my best games in a Real Madrid jersey."
Madrid have signed World Cup Golden Glove winner Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea last week to challenge current No. 1 Keylor Navas for a starting spot.
Navas played in Saturday's Bernabeu Trophy win over Milan, after which Lopetegui said he felt that having two "magnificent solutions" in goal was a positive.
"The advantage we have is big competition for that position, which is good for the team," he added. "The same as in all the positions.
"Whatever decision we take, there will always be a great keeper playing. So it is not a problem, but two magnificent solutions."
Meanwhile, Madrid have confirmed an adductor muscle injury for young right-back Alvaro Odriozola, ruling the €40 million summer signing from Real Sociedad out of the Super Cup and opening weeks of the La Liga campaign.
Odriozola was expected to be on the bench in Tallinn, as understudy to Dani Carvajal. But that spot could now go to 19-year-old Sergio Lopez or 21-year-old Sergio Reguilon, after both impressed Lopetegui during the International Champions Cup games in the U.S. earlier in the summer.