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Benzema could have played in France’s World Cup RO16 clash – report



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Defending world champions France have enjoyed a great run at Qatar, having already secured a semifinal berth. They faced a tough fight from England in their last round but came up clutch to progress and are now just two games from defending their title.

What makes their run more special is the fact that the team is lacking some of its biggest stars through injury. N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, and Christopher Nkunku are just a few of the several names missing from Les Bleus. However, the most notable absentee is Karim Benzema.

The French striker was initially called up to the squad in Qatar but suffered a thigh injury just days before the team’s first game. His participation was subsequently ruled out, but shocking news about Benzema’s situation has now come to light via MARCA.

The Spanish outlet report that the veteran had recovered a while ago and that he could have easily been part of the team for their Round of 16 clash. The decision to send him home is seen as a hasty call.

The 34-year-old sustained a thigh injury on November 19 and manager Didier Deschamps definitively ruled him out of the tournament on November 29, amidst reports claiming that he could return to the squad.

On the same day, Benzema took off for a vacation at the Reunion Islands before eventually returning to Madrid to resume training.

While he may have not returned to the national team camp, Benzema’s name has not been removed from the France squad as Deschamps did not call for any replacement. Thus, the player could, in theory, get a medal if his team wins the World Cup in Qatar.

The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner had an imperious season in 2021/22 but has had a relatively rough start to the new campaign.

In his injury-ridden season so far, he has played just seven league games for Los Blancos, scoring five goals and providing one assist in the process. In the UEFA Champions League, however, he is yet to open his tally.

Having now returned to full training with Real Madrid, he will be hoping to enjoy an injury-free season from this point on and help Los Blancos retain their La Liga and UEFA Champions League crowns.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid held talks with Thomas Tuchel before he signed for Bayern Munich



Photo by MICHAELA REHLE/AFP via Getty Images

Before he was hired by Bayern Munich as the direct replacement for Julian Nagelsmann, Thomas Tuchel was closely linked with a move to Real Madrid at the end of the season.

The German tactician had kept a close eye on the development at Santiago Bernabeu, especially with coach Carlo Ancelotti facing immense pressure following the club’s poor performances in domestic competitions.

A recent report from Jorge Picon has offered more details on the Tuchel saga, suggesting that the coach was even learning Spanish during his time at Ibiza, anticipating a potential move to Real Madrid at the end of the season.

There were even contacts made between Tuchel’s entourage and Real Madrid. Although the talks were positive, the two sides were not able to reach an agreement.

Real Madrid did not guarantee him the job. They had informed Tuchel that Ancelotti may continue at the Bernabeu in the event the club win the UEFA Champions League this season.

This bit of uncertainty played a critical role in convincing Tuchel to join Bayern Munich instead. The former Chelsea boss was hired as a direct replacement for Nagelsmann, who was sacked after a poor season in the Bundesliga by the club’s high standards.

However, Tuchel’s move to Bayern appears to be a missed opportunity on the German’s part, as Real Madrid have recently intensified their search for a new manager.

It is clear that the club’s hierarchy is yet to reach a consensus over the future of Ancelotti, with some believing that a change is necessary come the end of the season. In fact, the club’s president Florentino Perez has been an admirer of Tuchel’s compatriot Nagelsmann.

The coaching prodigy is one of the candidates to replace Ancelotti in the summer, though it is Mauricio Pochettion who is reportedly leading the race so far.

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