Real Madrid News
Benzema allays El Clasico injury fears after knock vs Liverpool: “I’ll be fit for Sunday”
Karim Benzema may be out of form in La Liga, but his performance in the UEFA Champions League has been promising. Across the two legs against Liverpool, the Real Madrid captain scored three goals including the only goal last night at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Ballon d’Or winner spoke to the media after his team’s 6-2 win on aggregate and addressed a range of topics including the upcoming challenges in UCL and the performance on the night.
Benzema began his interview with a brief overview of the game and his team’s performance at the Bernabeu. He admitted to the game being challenging but said that the fruit it bore was worth the effort.
“It was a tough game against good opposition but we showed we wanted to get on the front foot from the off. It was a great game for the fans and we’re into the quarters.”
Benzema was clear about not all games bearing the same flawless and picturesque football. In contrast, he said that hard-ground wins must be given as much love.
“Football today is all about digging in. Everyone wants more but sometimes you have to suffer in a game. The important thing is to win it and get through.”
When the Ballon d’Or winner hobbled to the side after scoring the only goal on the night, there was a situation of serious concern. However, Benzema played down all the rumours of worry and assured his availability for El Clasico.
“It was just a real blow to my shin but that’s all it was, a knock, I’ll be fit for Sunday.”
Last season, Los Blancos faced stiff competition at all stages with PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool being their opponents. When asked if he had any preference for the quarterfinal draw, he said,
“Every team is quality, there are no small teams at this level. They’re all much the same, it’s tiny details that decide it. Let’s see who we get.”
Finally, Benzema commented on Eduardo Camavinga’s performance. The French midfielder was the one to create Real Madrid’s goal with a perfect vertical cross, and the striker had only words of praise for him.
“As I know Liverpool’s centre-backs play quite wide, there is always more chance through the middle, which is where I went for the goal. He tries things, he’s a young player but he’s got heaps of talent and we’re thrilled with him.”
Source: Real Madrid website
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid identify two positions that need strengthening in the summer – report
According to reports from Mario Cortegana (h/t Madrid Zone), Real Madrid have two objectives for the upcoming summer transfer window. The centre-forward and the right-wing position are seen as the two positions to be reinforced but no decision has been made yet about making a move.
This comes over and above the Merengues’ pre-existing need for new midfielders and full-backs in the coming windows.
At first sight, it may appear that Los Blancos are well stacked in the final third. In Vinicius Jr, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo Goes, they have three starting quality players who are well-complemented by the likes of Marco Asensio and Federico Valverde.
Yet, Vinicius is the only player on the aforementioned list who can boast of a starting role in a fixed position for at least the next decade.
There is worry over the centre-forward role considering Benzema’s lack of form and fitness throughout the current campaign. With the Ballon d’Or winner already 35, the club need a young reinforcement soon which is evident with the team’s struggle for goals this term.
Los Blancos have already invested heavily in Endrick in this regard. However, that has not stopped them from following established options like Dusan Vlahovic and Erling Haaland as their Brazilian wonderkid will not arrive until 2024.
The right wing is also understaffed despite the presence of young Rodrygo and Fede Valverde. The duo have no dearth of talent but have not managed to click on the wing as well as the manager would have liked.
Thus, it remains to be seen as to who the club targets to strengthen the wing and aim to stretch the play. Given the heavy investment planned for Jude Bellingham, a low-cost option is likely to be considered.