Karim Benzema’s continued absence from Real Madrid’s training has split the club’s fanbase into two. One section sympathises with the Frenchman’s injuries and considers it to be a genuine exemption. However, a vast majority of the fans believe that the Ballon d’Or winner is prioritising keeping himself fit for the World Cup.
According to reports from AS, Real Madrid believe the issue with Karim Benzema is the lack of match fitness. He is reporting pain in his muscles after games and group training and his situation is beginning to get worrying.
The striker played less than 30 minutes in Los Blancos’ midweek clash against Celtic before reportedly sustaining an injury in training. He then missed the team’s trip to Estadio de Vallecas and is now expected to be unavailable to face Cadiz too.
Real Madrid have largely managed in Benzema’s absence this season, finding ways to score goals even without a natural centre-forward. However, they sorely missed him against Rayo Vallecano yesterday and the forward line lost in the captain’s absence.
It remains to be seen if the Frenchman makes his recovery in time to train with his National Team ahead of the World Cup later this month. Yet, a recovery immediately after the cessation of club football would cast many doubts and favour the school of thought that Benzema was looking to avoid the risk of injury.
The veteran has only played seven of Los Blancos’ 13 La Liga games so far and has also missed two UEFA Champions League clashes in the process. With one of the biggest tournaments of his career coming up later, this month, one hopes his return to fitness is speedy.
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.