Emotions ran over the Santiago Bernabeu today as Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio bid farewell to Real Madrid, playing their final ever games for the club. The duo are among four players who have are confirmed to be leaving.
Real Madrid were halted to a 1-1 draw by Athletic Club, who took the game to the hosts in the hopes of securing European football.
After the game, Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media as part of his press conferences.
“Benzema has thought a lot about what to do. This is a part of the process,” he said about the departing French legend.
Ancelotti continued to sing praises of Benzema, saying, “What Benzema has done at this club is legendary, unforgettable, something that will remain forever. Yes, his departure has surprised me, I think everyone. We have time to think about what to do.”
“Benzema told me about his decision this morning. I respected his decision.”
Real Madrid have organised a farewell for Benzema in the coming week, but Ancelotti was asked about the ‘cold farewell’ given to him by the club today.
“Cold farewell to Benzema? I don’t think so, the club will give him a farewell in the next days. You also have to consider Benzema’s way of being. He’s very shy and doesn’t like big things.”
Apart from the duo, Madrid have also announced the exit of Mariano Diaz and Eden Hazard. With four forwards gone, they only have Brazilian duo Vinicius and Rodrygo as part of the frontline.
“4 forwards have left today. It’s obvious we will [sign players],” Ancelotti confirmed when asked about the need to sign attackers this summer transfer window.
“We want a new striker who score goals and can adapt to our game. But we won’t forget about our youngsters.”
While Asensio and Benzema received their standing ovations from the fans, and tribute from the club, Hazard and Mariano were not brought on for their last dance.
“Hazard and Mariano didn’t even warm up? It’s been a decision. We had only 5 substitutions and they didn’t ask to enter the pitch.”
“I want to highlight Hazard and Mariano because their behaviour has been exemplar even if they did not play a lot. Very professional,” Ancelotti added.
Los Blancos also have to deal with the expiring contracts of Nacho and Dani Ceballos. Both of them have been handed extensions, but have not made a decision yet.
“Asensio, Nacho and Ceballos? We have explained them their roles. The club have offered them renewals. Asensio has preferred to leave, Ceballos and Nacho are still thinking about it,” Ancelotti revealed.
“I think they will both stay.”
Madrid have almost completed the signing of English wonderkid Jude Bellingham, who will sign on a €120 million-plus deal. The Italian manager was asked to comment on the transfer, but as one would expect, he refused to answer.
“Bellingham? I don’t talk about players who are not Real Madrid’s.”
Source: Real Madrid TV
Real Madrid defender taken off with an injury against Las Palmas
There just does not appear to be any respite from injuries for Real Madrid.
Just when it appeared that they were close to having their full squad – barring the two long-term absentees – the Merengues have been struck down by fresh injuries this week.
Arda Guler, who was on the cusp of being named in the squad for the Las Palmas clash, injured himself in training on Tuesday.
And now, during the game against Las Palmas at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid have lost key defender David Alaba to an injury.
Close to the 40th-minute mark, Alaba went down on the ground clutching his leg and appeared to be in quite a bit of discomfort.
Soon enough, the medical staff arrived to take a look at the Austrian and seconds later he was off the pitch and straight towards the tunnel.
Lucas Vazquez came on to replace the injured Alaba, with Nacho Fernandez moving into the centre-back position alongside Antonio Rudiger.
Alaba’s injury leaves Carlo Ancelotti with just two fit centre-backs in Rudiger and Nacho, which is set to be a matter of great concern.
The hope will be that Alaba’s condition is nothing serious and that he is able to mount a quick recovery.