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Benzema wants to play every La Liga game to beat Lewandowski in the Pichichi Trophy race



Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Not long ago, Robert Lewandowski seemed like the undisputed leader in the race for the Pichichi trophy, having racked up a series of goals since joining Barcelona.

However, the Pole has not had the best of starts to the year. The injury of Ousmane Dembele has clearly had an adverse effect on his performances, while the striker has also struggled with various fitness reasons, especially after the World Cup.

This has led to a dip in form for Lewandowski, who has netted only four goals since the turn of the year. His poor form in front of goal has allowed Karim Benzema to catch up, to an extent.

According to MARCA, the Real Madrid captain is keen on participating in Real Madrid’s remaining league matches despite the fixture pile-up, as he has scored 14 goals this season – only three behind Lewandowski.

Benzema has shown good form in 2023, scoring seven league goals while playing a crucial role in the club’s triumph over Chelsea and Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League.

The Frenchman, who had picked up a minor knock against Chelsea earlier this week, is fully fit and is now determined to keep up with Lewandowski in La Liga and eventually beat the Pole in the race for the Pichichi trophy.

Benzema was the recipient of the prestigious award last year, scoring 27 goals. His performances played a key role in helping Real Madrid secure the league title. It also helped him secure his first Ballon d’Or title last year.

However, it could prove to be difficult for Benzema to play regularly during the remainder of the campaign, as the Spanish giants have crucial games coming up in the Champions League and in Copa Del Rey, for which they would want to rest their captain in league matches.

Ancelotti hinted at the same during his press conference earlier today, when he said: “I told him, if I can take minutes off him, I’m going to do it so that he can have a rest, especially if he has a small problem.”

Benzema has already had multiple injury and fitness issues this season. Hence, it will be interesting to see whether or not the Frenchman will be able to keep up with his Barcelona counterpart in the race for La Liga’s top scorer award.

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Real Madrid News

Bellingham asked for two specific jersey numbers at Real Madrid, but both taken



Real Madrid have officially completed a move for Jude Bellingham for a total of €103 million in fixed transfer fee, plus €30 million in variables depending on the team and the Englishman’s performances over the course of the season.

This transfer makes Bellingham the second most expensive player in Real Madrid history after Eden Hazard, who signed for nearly €120 million in the summer of 2018.

The Spanish giants have been in talks with Dortmund and Bellingham over a long time, and convinced both parties by agreeing to their demands, including the fees, wages, and personal terms from the youngster.

One of Bellingham’s personal demands was related to his jersey number of choice, according to a report by Cadena SER.

He wanted to take one of #22 or #5 at Madrid. Unfortunately, though, both numbers are currently occupied by centre-backs in the team. Antonio Rudiger signed on a free agent last summer and took up #22, while Jesus Vallejo has been wearing the #5.

Neither of the two are starters for Carlo Ancelotti, with Eder Militao (#3), and David Alaba (#4) guarding the fort.

Bellingham is used to wearing #22 for Dortmund and the England national team, but he has also worn the #23, #10 #8 for the latter. Those numbers are also occupied, though, by Ferland Mendy, Luka Modric Toni Kroos, respectively.

That said, there will be multiple numbers free for Bellingham. Four players have already left the team, including Karim Benzema (#9), Eden Hazard (#7), Marco Asensio (#11), and Mariano Diaz (#24).

Reports have stated that Madrid are looking to give Bellingham the #7, as it has been a historic kit number for them. Cristiano Ronaldo wore it during his incredible tenure at Santiago Bernabeu, succeeding the legendary Raul.

While it has not seen worthy successors since, in Mariano and Hazard, it still remains one of the most valuable kits in Madrid history. Further, giving it to their blockbuster €100 million+ signing would definitely help jersey sales.

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