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Just in: Real Madrid defender ruled out of Union Berlin and Atletico Madrid clashes

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Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

In yet another injury blow, Real Madrid are set to be without key defender Dani Carvajal for the UEFA Champions League clash against Union Berlin and the La Liga derby against Atletico Madrid, reports Arancha Rodriguez.

Real Madrid have been rocked by injury issues throughout the early phase of the 2023/24 season, with Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Arda Guler, Vinicius Jr, Dani Ceballos, and Ferland Mendy all missing games with injuries.

Ceballos and Mendy are back in the reckoning, but the Merengues have now been dealt a fresh injury blow.

Carvajal set to miss next two games

Indeed, Real Madrid are now set to be without in-form defender Dani Carvajal for the game against Union Berlin in the Champions League as per the report. He will also be unavailable for the derby against Atletico Madrid this weekend.

The veteran Spanish international is not in training today as he is dealing with a muscle injury, which comes as a big blow for Los Blancos.

The 31-year-old has been in good form for both club and country this season and had earned praise from manager Carlo Ancelotti after the recent win against Real Sociedad.

“The width is given to you by the two full-backs and that’s why he’s further forward when we have the ball. As the attackers are more inside we need the full-backs further forward,” the manager had said, stressing the importance of Carvajal.

Now, Real Madrid will have to cope without him for the important game against Union Berlin and possibly more, depending on his return.

Ancelotti has other options

With Carvajal ruled out, manager Ancelotti will likely turn to Lucas Vazquez to fill in at right-back against Union Berlin tomorrow night.

The manager also has youngster Vinicius Tobias as an option, with the young Brazilian training with the first team today instead of Castilla.

Captain Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rudiger could also fill in at right-back for Real Madrid if required.

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Real Madrid News

Benzema talks Vinicius, Mbappe, Ballon d’Or, decision to leave Real Madrid

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Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images

Last Saturday marked a special moment for Real Madrid fans as Karim Benzema, the former captain and Ballon d’Or winner, made his return to Spain. 

This visit was his first in over a year and has generated significant excitement among his supporters. Benzema, now playing for Al Ittihad, was set to participate in a pre-season friendly match against Elche at Estadi Olímpic Camilo Cano.

The Al Ittihad team had been gearing up for the new season by holding training sessions in Benidorm, a well-known Spanish coastal town that is a favourite among tourists. 

This picturesque setting has provided a perfect backdrop for the team’s preparations, blending hard work with the beautiful scenery of the Mediterranean coast.

Benzema’s return to Spain is not just about playing one match. The 36-year-old striker is also set to face two of his old rivals in upcoming games. 

Al Ittihad has scheduled matches against Sevilla on July 26 and Real Betis on August 3. These encounters are highly anticipated, as Benzema has a long history with both clubs from his time in La Liga.

Real Madrid hold a special place

During a recent training session, Benzema took some time to sit down for an interview with MARCA, he shared his thoughts on his return to Spain and his enduring connection to Real Madrid. 

Real Madrid will have a special place in Karim Benzema’s life. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Benzema made it clear that, despite moving on to a new chapter in his career, Real Madrid will always hold a special place in his heart.

“[Last season was] spectacular, very good. Real Madrid are always the best team in the world. Players come and go, but Real Madrid will always be at the top, at the very top. It is the best and will continue to prove it,” he began saying.

“Joy. A lot,” said when asked about Madrid’s recent UEFA Champions League triumph. 

“It’s my team and I will always be on the side of Real Madrid and my teammates. It’s logical. Real Madrid is Real Madrid, something unique.”

Decision to leave Real Madrid

The 36-year-old forward left Real Madrid last year and when asked if he regrets he decision, he added,

“Some come and others go. It’s like that and it will always happen. It was the right moment. Of course, I look back and feel happy. 

“Last season they gave a sensation of power, of good football and that’s why they won the Champions League and the League. Today I don’t see any other team that can be better than Real Madrid,” he said.

Furthermore, when asked if there is any team capable of threatening Real Madrid, he said, 

“It’s the best team in the world. It’s always strong and fighting for everything. I stand there, look around and don’t see any team that’s capable of being better.”

Benzema picks Vini Jr for Ballon d’Or

Karim Benzema says Vinicius Jr deserves to win the Ballon d’Or. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

This year’s race for the Ballon d’Or is going to heat up as multiple players have made the case for themselves. However, Benzema thinks that Vinicius must win the honour.

“Ballon d’Or? I’m going to say Vini because he deserves it for his season and not just for what he’s done this year, but also for what he’s done last year. 

“He was also above the rest with his football and what he does with the ball. He’s a kid, a complete footballer”

Speaking about Vinicius, he added, “He can win a game on his own, of course with the help of his teammates, but he is very good when Real Madrid needs him and that is why I think he deserves it. 

“He is always there and he always shows up. For all of that, my favourite is Vini.”

Benzema’s thoughts on Mbappe

Karim Benzema says Kylian Mbappe was destined for Real Madrid. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2023/24 season had no owner of the number 9 shirt at Real Madrid, but Mbappe’s arrival has now fulfilled that. Speaking about his compatriot’s move, Benzema explained,

“Sooner or later he will play for Real Madrid. I have always thought that and that is what has happened. He is a great player.”

Lastly, when asked about Madrid’s dominance and if they can repeat the success of last season, he said, 

“Of course, of course. Really. I just don’t see a team that can be better than Real Madrid. Really. They have everything. Players, coach and president.”

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