After enjoying a stunning past year, the accolades continue to come Karim Benzema’s way as he has now won the Alfredo Di Stefano Award for the Best Player in La Liga at the MARCA Awards Gala for 2021/22.
Benzema enjoyed a spectacular 2021/22 campaign that saw him plunder 44 goals across all competitions, leading the charge for Real Madrid’s triumphs in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
The 34-year-old striker had already won the UEFA Best Player of the Year Award already and is the favourite to lift the Ballon d’Or in the coming month.
Now, he has also added the Alfredo Di Stefano Award to his cabinet, while also winning the Hyundai MVP Award as well as the Pichichi Trophy for being the top scorer in La Liga last season.
Talking after accepting the honours, Benzema said: “It’s a very important trophy for me. I want to thank my teammates. Every year it’s more difficult to win, but we’re strong.”
The French international also went on tip teammates Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo Goes as possible contenders for the Pichichi award in the future, saying: “I see Vinicius and Rodrygo as Real Madrid’s next top scorers.”
Having been out injured over the past three weeks, Benzema returned to normal training earlier today and is now raring to get back on the field when Real Madrid face Osasuna at the weekend.
“I’m ready to play, I’m lucky to be able to play for the best club in the world,” he said. “Di Stefano always told me to believe in my dreams and to enjoy every moment at Real Madrid.”
On his most memorable goal from last season, Benzema said: “If it’s La Liga, I think the one from Sevilla was at the last minute and in the Champions League the ones from PSG, which was a magical night.”
On the objectives for the ongoing campaign, he added: “I feel very proud of my work. I think this year is going to be a difficult year, but with great enthusiasm, I always want to do more. I’m going to try to do more. Win LaLiga, score a lot of goals and most importantly for me, enjoy field”.
Real Madrid teenage prodigy needs to play more, insists national team manager
The situation with Arda Guler at Real Madrid has become tense in recent days. The Turkish phenom has not been at the receiving end of many minutes despite completing his recovery from injuries, and the player is now getting fed up with his situation.
It is, however, not just Guler who is affected by the situation. With the European Championships coming up, the 19-year-old looks likely to enter the competition with Turkey with no match fitness, and his international federation is far from happy with his situation.
Turkey manager speaks out
Speaking at the recent sponsorship event of the Turkish National Team, head coach Vincenzo Montella was asked to comment on Guler’s situation at Real Madrid.
As a former Sevilla coach and with knowledge of how La Liga works, he understood the circumstances and hoped for the player to see more minutes.
“He is playing very little, but I hope he can do it from now on because he has a lot of talent,” he said, as quoted by SPORT.
Montella went on to reinstate that he still maintains complete confidence in the Real Madrid star’s abilities for the upcoming tournament, despite his drought for minutes.
“We are following him very carefully. We want our players to be in their best physical condition for the European Championship.”
Exit on the cards?
Guler has played only 92 minutes all season and is now vexed by his helplessness. As revealed yesterday, he feels misguided and is unhappy with how the circumstances are currently.
The disappointed star, thus, could seek an exit, potentially on loan, from the club next summer if his situation does not improve.
But with Jude Bellingham and Brahim Diaz both on song, it does not appear like Guler’s chance in Madrid will arrive anytime soon.
Carlo Ancelotti retains faith in the Turkish star, and it remains to be seen if he looks to turn the player’s fortune around in the coming months.