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Benzema announces he will retire at Real Madrid after winning Ballon d’Or: “No other option”



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking to Onda Cero (h/t Fabrizio Romano) after the Ballon d’Or ceremony in France on Monday night, Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema has confirmed that he will retire at the Spanish capital club.

The 34-year-old made history as he won the Ballon d’Or 2022 Award on Monday, after having spearheaded Real Madrid’s La Liga and UEFA Champions League success last season.

It was a long overdue reward for everything that Benzema has achieved since joining Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon all the way back in 2009.

And now, the French striker, an absolute legend at the club, has confirmed that he will be retiring at Real Madrid only and will not look to join a different club towards the final phase of his career.

“I will retire in Real Madrid. There’s no other option for me,” the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner said.

Benzema’s current contract with Los Blancos expires next year, but a one-year extension is all but confirmed, which will keep him at the Santiago Bernabeu until the summer of 2024, by which point he will be 36 years old.

Whether he will continue beyond that or decide to hang up his boots remains to be seen. What’s certain is that the former Lyon ace does not wish to play for any other club and wants to end his career with Real Madrid.

After winning the Ballon d’Or, Benzema could not hide his joy and delight and said (h/t Eurosport): “Seeing this prize in front of me makes me really proud. It was a childhood dream for me and all the work I have done, I never gave up. I am really proud of my journey here.

“It was not easy, it was a difficult time and also for my family as well. When I was not in the France team I never stopped working hard. To be standing here today for the first time, I am happy for my work and will keep going.”

Benzema has made a rather slow start to the ongoing season but played a key role in Real Madrid’s triumph over Barcelona in Sunday’s El Clasico.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid defender set to return from injury by appearing for his national team



Photo by EVA MANHART/APA/AFP via Getty Images

In a positive update, Real Madrid defender David Alaba is set to return from his injury by making an appearance for the Austrian national team against Estonia later tonight, confirms Sergio Quirante.

Alaba has been out of action for over a month now, after picking up an injury during Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg tie against Liverpool at Anfield.

The Austrian international had been making progress in training at the club but was not ready in time for the Clasico against Barcelona on March 19.

Despite the injury, Alaba travelled to join the Austrian national team during the current international break.

And, according to the report from Sergio Quirante, the Real Madrid ace has good feelings after training with his national team. Having had several sessions under his belt now, the versatile defender is all set to make his return later tonight.

Austria will face off against Estonia in their second UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers Group F encounter later tonight and Alaba is in line to get some minutes against the minnows.

What remains to be seen is whether manager Ralf Rangnick opts to start the former Bayern Munich superstar on the night or introduces him as a substitute in the latter stages of the game.

Alaba’s imminent return will be good news for Real Madrid, who have a series of important matches coming up after the international break as they look to salvage their season.

Following the loss to Barcelona earlier this month, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are now 12 points off the top of the table in La Liga and are pretty much out of the equation to retain the title. They are also training the Catalans 1-0 in the Copa del Rey semi-finals while Chelsea await in the Champions League quarter-finals.

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