Real Madrid News
Real Madrid defender provides update on his fitness: “Everything is fine”
Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger has affirmed that he is absolutely fit at the moment and although he had a little bit of pain in his knee, he is going to be available for his side’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg tie against Chelsea.
It must be remembered that Rudiger had to pull out last minute ahead of Madrid’s 6-0 league win over Real Valladolid, but returned in time against Barcelona, although he remained an unused sub throughout the course of the game.
The German defender, however, returned to the starting XI against Villarreal and when asked about the status of his fitness, he said,
“Yes, everything is fine. It was a little pain in the knee, but I’m available,” the Madrid defender told Juan Ignacio Garcia-Ochoa while speaking for MARCA.
Real Madrid faced Chelsea in the quarter-final round of the UEFA Champions League last season as well. After having won the first leg 3-1, Chelsea marked a brilliant comeback in the return fixture (in a losing cause) and Rudiger, who was playing for the Blues last season, was the catalyst, having scored the equalizer for his side.
So when asked if he would want to score a goal at Stamford Bridge this season, he said, “It makes sense, I will try to do my best. But that is work for Benzema, Vinicius and Rodrygo. My thing is to defend.”
Additionally, speaking about what he thinks of Carlo Ancelotti’s job, the former Roma and Chelsea defender said that he would not want to be in the Italian’s shoes.
“I would not like to be in his position, but to me what this man is doing is incredible. I can only show respect towards him, I can’t say anything else. Ancelotti is the best.
“He comes from a completely different generation than us and he is still training and how he does it. It would be incredible to repeat what they did last season in the Champions League,” he added.
Rudiger also admitted that he wants the Italian to continue at Real Madrid for as long as possible amid speculations over his future.
“Yes, sure. It is a decision made by other people, but if in the end it is decided to continue with Ancelotti, we go with Ancelotti.”
Talking about the season so far for Real Madrid, he said: “In La Liga we have to continue, but it is not in our hands. But the rest is fine. We are in the Cup final after a spectacular comeback at Camp Nou and the Champions League is the big goal, of course. Once we’re in the quarterfinals…”
Opening up on his experience in the Real Madrid setup, Rudiger added: “In Madrid, in addition, you have to learn very quickly. In life you have to adapt to circumstances and understand things. And I have understood many things from here and since then I feel much more comfortable in the team.”
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid have not ‘given up’ on Karim Benzema’s renewal yet – report
The cloud of uncertainty over Karim Benzema’s future has served as a major headache for the Real Madrid board, as they kickstart their team planning ahead of the new season.
Recent reports claim the Frenchman is strongly considering a move to Saudi Arabia, after receiving a lucrative €150 million offer from Al Ittihad. He was close to renewing his contract at Santiago Bernabeu not too long ago, but it appears the tables have turned lately.
Nevertheless, Real Madrid are yet to give up on Benzema and still harbour hopes of renewing his contract in the coming weeks, reports Alfredo Matilla.
The Spanish journalist suggests Real Madrid have not closed the file on Benzema. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has recently met the forward to clarify his future and it appears the club are set to do everything they can to keep hold of the player.
Benzema’s departure, after all, could put the club in a major dilemma, where they must either sign a top-class striker or settle for a low-cost alternative for the entirety of next season.
Harry Kane has been earmarked as the ideal replacement for Benzema. But his acquisition could potentially jeopardise Real Madrid’s bid to sign either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe in 2024. The club have also faced difficulties negotiating with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman.
As far as the low-cost options are concerned, Real Madrid are interested in Roberto Firmino, who will become a free agent in the summer.
However, the Brazilian international is not the most productive striker around and his struggles in front of goal could put more pressure on players like Vinicius Junior next season.
Real Madrid, therefore, will hope to keep hold of Benzema’s services for another year. Unfortunately, though, the player has given a cold response so far and left training early, without speaking too much.
So it will be interesting to see whether or not the veteran striker opts to remain at Bernabeu for another year.