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Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Barcelona



Photo via Getty

Carlo Ancelotti has seemingly opted to replace star striker Karim Benzema with Brazilian prodigy Rodrygo Goes for the El Clasico against Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The French hitman is ruled out with a leg injury, leaving a gaping hole in the frontline for Los Blancos. Despite having natural strikers at his disposal in Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz, Ancelotti has gone in with Rodrygo in a false-nine role.

The Brazilian will have compatriot Vinicius Junior for company on the left-hand side, while Federico Valverde gets the nod on the right flank, possibly to combat the attacking threat of Jordi Alba.

Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro will form the midfield trifecta for the La Liga title favourites. Eduardo Camavinga finds himself on the bench yet again, while Marco Asensio also remains among the substitutes.

In defence, there are no major surprises as Nacho Fernandez moves out to left-back in the absence of Ferland Mendy. The Real Madrid cantera also leads the team on the night against Barcelona. Eder Militao, David Alaba, and Dani Carvajal form the rest of the backline while Thibaut Courtois continues in goal.

Official Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Nacho; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius

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Real Madrid News

U-turn? Benzema hints at Real Madrid stay during ceremony: “Reality is not the internet”



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

There has been a lot of talk around Karim Benzema’s situation over the course of the last week or so, with reports claiming that the Frenchman was on his way out of the Santiago Bernabeu.

With his contract expiring at the end of the season, it was reported that Benzema was joining Al Ittihad as part of an incredible deal worth nearly €200 million. The striker was also offered 100% of his image rights and advertising deals by the Saudi government.

Over the last day or so, it has been reported that the move is all but official at the moment, as Benzema has accepted the offer, and will soon inform Real Madrid about it.

Benzema was awarded the MARCA Leyenda awards for contribution to sports today, and speaking during it, he dropped a rather cryptic message about his future – one that says quite the opposite to what has been in the news recently.

“Speak to the fans? Speak about what? Why should I speak of the future if I’m in Madrid?”, Benzema said.

“It’s the internet speaking, and reality is not the internet,” he added.

This certainly falls away from the departure line for Benzema, who was reportedly already contemplating his life away from Madrid.

At first, though, he was hesitant about speaking about his future, saying, “Staying or leaving Real Madrid? At the moment, I’m here…we have a game on Saturday.”

He repeatedly talked about the fans, calling them the best in world football. He also said, “I know how much Real Madrid fans love me. I feel that when I’m on the pitch, I give my best for them, always.”

“I always say that we play with 11 on the pitch but also with a crucial factor, Real Madrid fans,” Benzema concluded.

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