Real Madrid News
Benzema reveals that Ronaldo has not congratulated him following Ballon d’Or win
Karim Benzema’s injury has been a popular topic for discussion in Spain over the past few weeks. The Frenchman did not participate in any of Los Blancos’ last three games and had a minimal role even in the game against Celtic.
The striker departed from Madrid earlier this week and presented his Ballon d’Or in front of the fans of his former club Olympique Lyon a few days ago and is now set to the French National Team for the massive event ahead. Benzema spoke to Telefoot ahead of the World Cup and spoke about topics including his absence from Real Madrid’s games. Here are the takeaways from his interview.
On why he did not play the final last few games for Real Madrid: “I did not want to play if I wasn’t 100% and I had discomforts. But I will be ready for the World Cup, as I said I have taken care of myself.”
On returning to Lyon to present the Ballon d’Or: “Back in Lyon, I’m always proud. Every time I go back to my city I feel proud and happy.”
On whether he was worried about his participation in Qatar: “Was I worried about the World Cup? Never.”
On his recovery: “I have taken care of myself. I will be ready [for the World Cup]. No problem.”
On his fitness ahead of the World Cup: “I will be fit and present [for the first game].”
On whether Ronaldo had congratulated him on his award: “Ronaldo sent me a message after I won the Balon d’Or? No. Not yet.”
On his injury: “What my injury was? just a discomfort. I can play but not at 100%. I wanted to play at 100%. I worked well physically so no worries.”
On his dream of winning the Ballon d’Or: “I didn’t want to quit football until I won the Balon d’Or.”
Atletico Madrid News
Real Madrid star approached by Atletico over summer move, player wants to stay
Dani Ceballos is one of the players who has Real Madrid on the fence after his recent resurgence. The club appeared certain to part ways with the player during the commencement of the 2022/23 season but no longer find the decision as straightforward.
According to reports from MARCA, Real Madrid are in no hurry to renew Ceballos’ contract. Though his deal runs out in the summer, the Merengues prefer to focus fully on the competitions they are alive in instead of entering auctions for his renewal.
Ceballos has given Los Blancos the signal that his priority is to stay and is waiting for an offer from the board. However, nobody from the administration has contacted him yet.
Sniffing a moment of opportunity, Atletico Madrid have entered the scene and conveyed their interest in signing the midfield star. Los Rojiblancos have already called his entourage twice in recent weeks and a move away from the Bernabeu cannot be ruled out.
At 26 years of age, the Spaniard wishes for regular starts and playing time. It would be difficult for such demands to be met in Real Madrid owing to the sheer number of young prodigies rising in the middle of Los Blancos.
Come next season, Ceballos could be lost in the mix of Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and veterans like Toni Kroos, while Jude Bellingham could also arrive.
Ceballos has made 19 appearances for the defending champions in La Liga this season, providing one assist in that duration. At just 10 starts and 44 minutes averaged per game, however, his role is clearly centred around the bench.
Moving to Atletico Madrid could thus work well in his favour for he is almost guaranteed playing time in Simeone’s system which is in dire need of a quality attacking midfielder.
The player is currently on international duty with La Roja for the Euro qualifiers. In the team’s opener against Norway, he came on at the hour mark and made a strong cameo with three key passes and a big chance created.