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Ancelotti unlikely to risk Real Madrid superstar against Girona this weekend – report



Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti could decide not to risk star striker Karim Benzema for their upcoming game against Girona, reports MARCA.

The 34-year-old French international withdrew from Los Blancos’ last La Liga clash against Sevilla last week due to muscle fatigue. Following that, the club captain did not travel to Germany either, where Real Madrid suffered their first defeat of the season to RB Leipzig.

However, heading into Sunday’s La Liga clash against Girona, Benzema was expected to make a return, along with key duo Federico Valverde and Luka Modric.

But, the aforementioned report is now stating that Ancelotti could decide against rushing his ace goalscorer back into action on Sunday.

While it is clarified that the French international is in contention to make a comeback, the manager could take the call to not risk Benzema.

Ancelotti insisted in his recent press conference that he would rather lose his star player for one match rather than a month. And he could apply that thought process when it comes to selection versus Girona.

Benzema will travel to the French national team camp in Clairefontaine next month before flying off to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup. So, that is something that will also likely be taken into consideration by the management.

The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner is currently sidelined for the second time this season, after having missed a stretch of matches around the international break.

Given his advancing age and importance to the team, it will be crucial for Ancelotti & co. to carefully manage his game time, especially if injuries keep happening.

So, as per the report, the manager will not rush Benzema’s return and will likely consider his selection only if the striker is fully fit and comfortable.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid could be in trouble with RFEF if too many Spanish players leave



It is astounding that despite being the biggest club in Spain, Real Madrid do not have many Spanish players to show for it.

Los Blancos do indeed boast of a special diversity in the dressing room, but their lack of locally trained players could pose problems according to MARCA.

The Spanish outlet confirms that UEFA does not mandate the inclusion of any minimum number of locally grown players for a club. However, the Spanish federation stipulates that a club in Spain must boast of at least eight players who meet a specific set of conditions.

Of the aforementioned eight candidates, there must be at least four players who have spent three seasons or 36 months at the club between the ages of 15 and 21.

Currently, only Nacho Fernandez, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez, Federico Valverde, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Mariano make up the required number on that front.

The problem, however, arises with the condition for the other four players in the list of eight. RFEF stipulates that the second set of four players must have completed at least 36 months in teams attached to the federation of Spain between the ages of 15 and 21.

Only Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Odriozola, Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos tick the aforementioned box. However, all four players have uncertain futures at the club and are well-placed to depart in the summer.

There are thus big decisions to be taken over the transfer strategy for June. Real Madrid can work ways to ship all four players out, it would require the re-integration of players like Sergio Arribas, Miguel Gutierrez or Fran Garcia to ensure the fulfilment of the criteria.

With both Vallejo and Odriozola seemingly frozen out of Ancelotti’s plans, their departures from Santiago Bernabeu appear inevitable. Thus, the management could be forced to renew one of Asensio or Ceballos come June.

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