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Argentina World Cup hero mocks Real Madrid youngster: “He screwed up everything”



Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Emiliano Martinez has been in the headlines following his key role in helping Argentina win the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar earlier this month.

The Aston Villa goalkeeper was a key performer for La Albiceleste throughout the tournament and came up clutch in the finals as well. With the score at 3-3 in extra-time, he pulled off a marvelous save to deny France striker Randal Kolo Muani to force the game into penalties.

Once the shootout started, Martinez made a top stop to keep Kingsley Coman out, which put pressure on France’s next taker – Aurelien Tchouameni.

The 22-year-old Real Madrid ace had been a mainstay for France throughout the tournament in Qatar, but was entering a pressure-cooker situation in the shootout in the finals of the World Cup.

And Martinez, in a recent interview, has admitted that he played mind games with Tchouameni to make him miss the target, at which he eventually succeeded.

“When I saved the first penalty, I knew the other boy (Tchouameni) was going to be very nervous. I tried to play him mentally, throwing the ball away, saying things to him. And he shot outside, he screwed up everything,” Martinez said (h/t MARCA).

Despite the penalty miss, there is no taking away that Tchouameni had a solid World Cup. In the biggest tournament of his career to date, the young midfielder held his own and carried the France midfield in the absence of stalwarts like Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante.

The Real Madrid ace has been targeted by racist abuse on social media following the finals of the World Cup – much like Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka of England were last year when they missed from the penalty spot in the UEFA Euro 2020 against Italy.

The midfielder is expected to rejoin Real Madrid in training next week, just before the team plays Real Valladolid in their first La Liga match after the World Cup break.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid captain Benzema still not 100% fit, suffering from ankle discomfort – report



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Karim Benzema put in another decrepit display as Real Madrid suffered a 2-1 defeat to FC Barcelona on Sunday night, which all but ended their hopes of defending the La Liga title.

The 35-year-old had sat out of Los Blancos‘ previous La Liga encounter against RCD Espanyol due to ankle discomfort, but returned for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie versus Liverpool.

While Benzema scored in that game, he hobbled off the pitch with his ankle issue resurfacing. It led to him missing training last Friday, but returned to the squad for El Clasico after participating in training on Saturday.

However, he looked rusty and uninspiring during the defeat on Sunday at Spotify Camp Nou. Now, ABC (h/t Madrid Xtra), is reporting that Benzema is still not near 100% fitness and is struggling with his ankle issue.

It is further claimed that the Real Madrid captain continues to feel discomfort game after game.

Despite this being the situation, Carlo Ancelotti continues to play his ace striker in almost every match.

But the blame must be shared by the club as well, as they did not sign a new centre-forward in the summer or in January when they were aware of the striker’s fitness issues this season.

The Merengues let go of Luka Jovic and Borja Mayoral in the summer and did not sign a replacement, leaving Benzema and the out-of-favour Mariano Diaz as the only options at the manager’s disposal.

Rodrygo did well on occasions when deployed as a No.9, but it evidently clear that Real Madrid cannot go through an entire season relying on a 35-year-old centre-forward.

Alvaro Rodriguez may have emerged as an option of late, but Real Madrid will be repeating the same mistake again if they do not go for a new striker before the next season starts.

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