As per the latest reports from AS, Real Madrid will be without club captain and ace goalscorer Karim Benzema for their upcoming La Liga clash against RCD Mallorca after he picked up an injury on Tuesday. Eden Hazard is likely to start in place of the French superstar.
Real Madrid cruised to a 3-0 win over Celtic in their UEFA Champions League opener at Parkhead on Tuesday. However, the win came at the expense of Benzema’s injury, with the UEFA Player of the Year being subbed off just thirty minutes into the contest due to a knee issue.
Following the game, reports emerged that the Real Madrid doctors were optimistic that the issue was not a major one. However, it looks like the 34-year-old superstar will be unable to recover in time for Real Madrid’s upcoming La Liga clash.
Los Blancos will lock horns with RCD Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon. And as per the aforementioned report, Benzema is unlikely to be available for the encounter on matchday five of La Liga.
In his place, Eden Hazard, who replaced Benzema after his injury against Celtic, is in line to feature from kickoff.
The champions of Spain and Europe do not have a natural centre-forward to cover for Benzema, having failed to sign anyone in the summer. While Mariano Diaz is on the squad, the 29-year-old is no longer favoured by manager Carlo Ancelotti.
But the form that Hazard displayed at Celtic Park will come as somewhat as a relief for Los Blancos. The Belgian international was one of Real Madrid’s better performers on the night and capped off the display with a goal.
With Benzema set to be unavailable, Ancelotti and Real Madrid will need Hazard to carry on from where he left off in Scotland and stake a claim for more regular involvement after a slow start to the season.
The Merengues have won each of their four La Liga matches so far and will be eager to continue that run and keep their lead over rivals Barcelona intact.
Real Madrid’s academy breakout star was close to signing for Atletico in the past – report
Nico Paz has burst onto the scene at Real Madrid after his recent heroics. The youngster was long hyped as Castilla’s brightest upcoming star, and his performances in recent games prove why.
Paz was the hero when Los Blancos took on Napoli earlier this week. Coming off the bench, he netted Real Madrid’s winning goal with six minutes left on the clock, thus scoring his first-ever goal with the first team.
Turning the clock back
As revealed in a recent update by AS, Paz’s arrival at Real Madrid was by no means a simple operation. It was made possible only through rigorous scanning and profiling done by the clubs scouts in Tenerife.
The youngster, at the time, was the crown jewel of the youth team in Tenerife. He was only 11 years old when the administration established contact with his father, back in April 2016.
It was only then that Real Madrid was made aware of Atletico Madrid’s strong interest in signing the player.
Los Rojiblancos had already made an important offer, and it was thus only Real Madrid’s timely intervention and negotiation that secured Paz’s signing.
An interesting clause
Paz’s entourage were naturally thrilled by the interest from Real Madrid and possible transfer. However, they had one clause that they insisted be met.
The Argentine ace’s entourage insisted that, as opposed to staying in the club facilities, Paz would reside with his family who would move to Madrid with the player. They value the family nucleus dearly and wished to keep the player in his comfort zone outside of training.
Needless to say, the green light soon arrived and Real Madrid won the race of Atletico Madrid. The rest, as they say, is history.