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Ex-Real Madrid manager hails Karim Benzema: “Worthy of the best player award”



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking at a press conference during a ceremony in Alicante (h/t Diario AS), former Real Madrid and Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has hailed Karim Benzema, claiming that his Ballon d’Or victory was well-deserved.

Benzema became just the second player to win the Ballon d’Or apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the past 15 years, following in the footsteps of Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric.

The 34-year-old enjoyed a stunning 2021/22 campaign when he led Los Blancos to the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League trophy.

The French international had been the favourite to lift the Golden Orb and was handed the award this past Monday, by none other than former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

The Real Madrid legend hailed his compatriot as one of the best strikers France had ever produced.

Now, another former Los Blancos boss has joined in to praise the 34-year-old striker, as he said: “Karim is worthy of the best player award.”

The ongoing campaign has been a bit up and down for Benzema as he went through a lean period and had an injury to deal with as well.

But the striker is looking like getting back to his best in the last two matches. Indeed, the French international was on target for Real Madrid against Barcelona in El Clasico and followed it up with another goal versus Elche on Wednesday.

In all, Benzema has scored six goals and set up one more in 11 matches across all competitions in 2022/23.

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Real Madrid News

Key Real Madrid star will be fit for Valladolid clash despite national team withdrawal



Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images

Real Madrid have been greeted with some positive news on the injury front as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is expected to be fit and ready for the upcoming La Liga clash against Real Valladolid.

The 30-year-old custodian had flown away for national team duty with Belgium and played the full game against Sweden last week. However, the Real Madrid ace was sent back to the club over the weekend due to a minor adductor strain.

This raised concerns over the former Chelsea star’s condition, especially with a busy period lying ahead for the Merengues.

However, Mario Cortegana of The Athletic has eased any nerves surrounding his situation, reporting that Courtois was subjected to tests upon returning to Spain and there is no reason for worry.

The report states that Real Madrid expect their No. 1 to be fit and available for their next game which will be against Real Valladolid in La Liga on April 2, Sunday.

It is further stated that the knock Courtois sustained was not a new one and that the 30-year-old had felt discomfort in the same area during Los Blancos’ UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg tie against Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this month.

Courtois has featured 32 times across all competitions this term, having missed a few matches due to fitness issues. He has managed just ten clean sheets and will be hoping to add to that against Valladolid, now that is reportedly fit to feature at the weekend.

In another boost, reports earlier today indicated that Toni Kroos does not have any injury after concerns were raised due to the midfielder doing individual training sessions over the past week.

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