A penalty is as close as it gets to a free goal being awarded in football. Up against just the goalkeeper from 12 yards out, the striker has an xG of 0.76 from the penalty spot.
However, Real Madrid’s recent history with spot-kicks has been anything but memorable. In what comes as a horrible revelation, Los Blancos have only scored two of their last seven attempts from the penalty spot in La Liga.
Benzema was the latest guilty party for Real Madrid as he missed to find the back of the net from the penalty spot against Osasuna on Sunday, resulting in the champions’ first dropped points of the season as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Frenchman had failed to find the back of the net from 12 yards out against Celta Vigo on Matchday 30 (April 2) of the 2021/22 season before missing two attempts in a single game when Real Madrid took on Osasuna three weeks later (April 20).
Funnily enough, the next two misses came against the same opposition. Eden Hazard could not beat Celta Vigo’s Agustin Marchesin in the 87th minute of the clash earlier this season, and on Sunday, Benzema hit the woodwork against Osasuna.
The increased number of misses throws Benzema’s role as the primary spot-kick taker into doubt. However, Carlo Ancelotti confirmed in his post-match press conference that he retained his faith in the striker and pointed out that Los Blancos’ poor record was limited to La Liga.
“Benzema is the best penalty taker in the squad. He scored an important one vs City last season and this won’t change.”
With their draw against Osasuna, Real Madrid fell to second place on the league standings with Barcelona ahead on goal difference. With El Clasico just around the corner, the margin for error is now very thin.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.