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.
Real Madrid closely following the progress of 19-year-old Brazilian centre-back
Real Madrid have made it a habit to identify and sign the best young talents from Brazil in recent times. The Merengues recently signed Endrick Felipe from Palmeiras, although the striker will join the club in 2024, once he turns 18 years old.
Now, according to journalist Bruno Andrade on UOL Esporte, Real Madrid have set their sights on 19-year-old Brazilian defender Robert Renan.
The teenage centre-half came through the ranks at Corinthians and went on to make 13 senior appearances for the Brazilian outfit. He left the club last month to sign for Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg as part of the operation involving Yuri Alberto.
Renan is yet to make his debut for Zenit, but Real Madrid have had their eyes on the 19-year-old for a while now and have been closely following his progress and performances.
The teenage defender is currently a part of the Brazil U-20 team at the South American U-20 Championship in Colombia. And he has performed admirably in the tournament, featuring in each of his team’s five matches so far.
Renan’s performances in the U-20 Championship are said to have further piqued the interest of Real Madrid.
The report suggests that Los Blancos will continue keeping tabs on the young defender’s development at Zenit over the coming months.
With Nacho Fernandez’s contract expiring at the end of the season and Jesus Vallejo’s future uncertain as well, Real Madrid could use a defensive reinforcement in the summer to support Eder Militao, David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger.
Established players such as Josko Gvardiol have been linked with a move to the Bernabeu.
Renan, too, could be an option for Real Madrid in the summer. But, as things stand, the interest in the Brazilian is at a very nascent stage and the Merengues will continue to track his progress at Zenit, where his contract runs until 2028.