Real Madrid News
Real Madrid baffled by star forward’s lack of commitment in matches and training
Since winning the Ballon d’Or last season, Karim Benzema has seen a steep drop in form. The same striker who seemingly could not put a wrong step in front of the goal no longer looks as threatening.
According to reports from Sergio Santos (h/t Madrid Xtra), his drop in level in games is far from the problem at hand. Benzema no longer shows interest even in training, and both Carlo Ancelotti and the administration are baffled by his lack of commitment. There is a feeling that the striker’s mind is distracted elsewhere.
The reasons behind his wandering mind could be anything under the sun, but one possible rationale could be his shocking treatment in the French National Team setup recently.
After being called up for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Benzema was shipped back by Didier Deschamps for a very minor injury. Even after recovering completely from his setback well ahead of time, he was not shown a route back into the side.
The sudden developments and ostracization are said to have hit the striker hard, forcing him to even retire from international football with immediate effect.
The feeling of desolation would have only got worse with his snubbing at the recent FIFA The Best awards and is evident through the social media post he made about it.
If indeed Benzema’s drop in form is related to a psychological block, it is imperative that the club take the situation seriously and work with the player. Concurrently, however, it is important for Los Blancos to scout and sign an able replacement.
In 14 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid so far this season, Benzema has scored 11 goals and provided three assists. At the same time, he has missed a whopping 15 big chances and is well below his xG of 13 goals so far.
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Real Madrid News
Real Madrid defender doubt for El Clasico, injury not serious though
Real Madrid fans were dealt with a massive blow when star player Antonio Rudiger was left out of the squad against Real Valladolid, allegedly due to knee discomfort.
The injury sparked fears over his absence in the upcoming Copa Del Rey semifinal against Barcelona.
However, according to a report from Sergio Quirante, Rudiger’s knee injury is not thought to be serious. It appears the decision to leave him out of the squad against Valladolid may only be a precaution, with the defender set to undergo ultrasonic tests tomorrow.
Rudiger, whose injury scare came just 48 hours before Real Madrid’s big game against Barcelona, has been a stellar success in the club’s backline this season.
The German international has emerged as a real leader at the back, using his experience and authority to good effect. Although Real Madrid’s defence has left a lot to be desired this season, Rudiger has been one of the bright sparks.
His potential absence, therefore, could serve as a major blow for Los Blancos, in their hopes to reach the Copa Del Rey semifinal next week.
Real Madrid are heading into this semifinal with a 1-0 defeat in the first leg, meaning keeping a clean sheet could be mandatory if they are to overturn the deficit and book a place in the final. Rudiger, in that regard, could prove to be a vital asset.
In the meantime, Real Madrid are heading into the Valladolid game with David Alaba and Eder Militao as two of the only reliable centre-backs in the team. Among the two, Alaba has struggled with injuries this season, so it will be interesting to see how Carlo Ancelotti deals with this tricky situation this afternoon.
March 5, 2023 at 3:40 am
Ancelotti and Perez were told long ago that they should be scouting to get a replacement for Benzema, but these stubborn fellows paid no heed. Now RM may end the season without winning any silverware–including La Liga, Cope de Rey, and Championship. Vinicius and Rodrigo are no where near as predictable in front of goal. Asensio dies even better in this regard if and when Ancelotti feels like getting him on the pitch!
March 5, 2023 at 10:35 am
I might be biased towards Asensio (for a pretty dumb reason, names sound similar) but I know he’s not 90+ rating. When he needs to show up, he does if given enough time to set up. You can’t give him 7~10 mins + whatever extra time is and expect returns every game. I was disappointed he didn’t score against Liverpool because he would’ve been 3 games scored in a row and now against a bad Barcelona, he was only given 8ish minutes. I think he would be best utilized after Rodrygo or Valverde tires the defense but not 10 minutes till whistle. I do believe in Rodrygo replacing him but as other matches have confirmed, he doesn’t perform well starting. But he’s also young and needs that experience. Asensio is the older player with not as much stamina and sadly on his way out. Ancelotti should be rotating Benzema as well. I would even recommend subbing him out and moving Valverde up there and adding a fresh midfielder since we’re starved for Forwards and Hazard has been a big disappointment.