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Ancelotti talks Benzema, Courtois, Hazard, penalty duties after Real Madrid 1-1 Osasuna



Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s winning streak in the new season came to an end on Sunday night as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Osasuna at home. Los Blancos had 22 shots, three big chances and hit the woodwork twice on the night but could not pick up all three points.

Vinicius Jr scored a sensational goal from outside the box late in the first half but the visitors equalised in the 50th minute through Kike Garcia. Captain Karim Benzema had the chance to seal the game in the 78th minute but missed from the penalty spot. 

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press after his team’s draw and addressed topics including the penalty miss and Eden Hazard. Here are the key quotes from his presser.

On the missed opportunity: “We deserved the win but we missed a penalty. It’s normal, setbacks happen. This is football.” 

On Thibaut Courtois’ injury: “Courtois will undergo exams tomorrow and we will see how he feels. It’s not a serious injury but we have to see if he can play on Wednesdays.”

On Karim Benzema: “It has not been his best game, but obviously he is not so fresh and he needs to work. He hasn’t played for a month.”

On Benzema missing the penalty: “Benzema is the best penalty taker in the squad. He scored an important one vs City last season and this won’t change.”

On not playing Eden Hazard: “We needed Mariano’s abilities tonight, not Hazard’s.”

On his team’s performance: “Our team was slow in the first half. I made changes in the 2nd half because we needed fresh legs and more intensity.”

On the international break: “I don’t blame the international break. I wanted to give minutes to the players who trained all week in Madrid.”

On whether his team deserved the win: “We conceded two shots and didn’t play at a high rhythm. But we deserved to win.”

On the result: “Tonight’s game wasn’t good but it happens, it’s a long season. Now we will start a new winning streak.”

On how the players took the result: “The players are sad because we didn’t win. This is the reason why won titles last season. We’re not happy with this draw.”

Source: Real Madrid official website

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Real Madrid News

U-turn? Benzema hints at Real Madrid stay during ceremony: “Reality is not the internet”



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

There has been a lot of talk around Karim Benzema’s situation over the course of the last week or so, with reports claiming that the Frenchman was on his way out of the Santiago Bernabeu.

With his contract expiring at the end of the season, it was reported that Benzema was joining Al Ittihad as part of an incredible deal worth nearly €200 million. The striker was also offered 100% of his image rights and advertising deals by the Saudi government.

Over the last day or so, it has been reported that the move is all but official at the moment, as Benzema has accepted the offer, and will soon inform Real Madrid about it.

Benzema was awarded the MARCA Leyenda awards for contribution to sports today, and speaking during it, he dropped a rather cryptic message about his future – one that says quite the opposite to what has been in the news recently.

“Speak to the fans? Speak about what? Why should I speak of the future if I’m in Madrid?”, Benzema said.

“It’s the internet speaking, and reality is not the internet,” he added.

This certainly falls away from the departure line for Benzema, who was reportedly already contemplating his life away from Madrid.

At first, though, he was hesitant about speaking about his future, saying, “Staying or leaving Real Madrid? At the moment, I’m here…we have a game on Saturday.”

He repeatedly talked about the fans, calling them the best in world football. He also said, “I know how much Real Madrid fans love me. I feel that when I’m on the pitch, I give my best for them, always.”

“I always say that we play with 11 on the pitch but also with a crucial factor, Real Madrid fans,” Benzema concluded.

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