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Real Madrid president talks Benzema, Courtois, Vinicius, Mbappe, Haaland, El Clasico



Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images

Monday was a special night for Real Madrid as they saw club captain Karim Benzema lift the 2022 Ballon d’Or award. Along with that, key superstar Thibaut Courtois also won the Yashin Trophy for the Best Goalkeeper in Europe.

Club president Florentino Perez was in a jubilant mood after the Ballon d’Or ceremony as he spoke to El Larguero (h/t AS) about the success of his players at the gala on Monday night.

“At last Benzema has his due as the best player in the world. He has deserved it for years because he is the best in the last three or four years,” Perez said about the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner.

Highlighting the qualities of the French centre-forward, the Real Madrid president said: “He’s a nine, a mix of Ronaldo and Zidane, he does those two jobs at the same time. He is a crack. He moves the lead like Zidane did and shoots on goal like Ronaldo Nazario did.”

“There was Figo, there was Zidane, there was Ronaldo and there was Benzema and we all took a picture together. Four figures, for me it has enormous sentimental value. There are four Ballon d’Ors,” he added talking about the Ballon d’Or winners he has signed at the club.

Thibaut Courtois was upset about his Ballon d’Or ranking despite enjoying a stunning campaign last time out. He went on to add that it was impossible for a goalkeeper to win the coveted award.

Perez, though, believes that the Belgian has what it takes to win the honour, saying: “Courtois is the best goalkeeper in the world and maybe you have to be patient because he could be in the future.”

On his thoughts about Manchester City being named the best team of the year ahead of Real Madrid, Perez said: “Well, we congratulate them, they have a great president, a great coach and good players. They are a great club, there are no buts to put on it”.

On Real Madrid’s win over Barcelona in El Clasico, he said: “There’s so much left, it’s not a decisive game. It is always better to win than to lose. A Clasico is a Clasico, a lot of people see it and it has a lot of prestige.”

When asked if he is bored by the rumours of Kylian Mbappe being linked to Real Madrid, he added: “It’s not that I’m bored, it’s that I don’t even read it. We had a good summer. Now it doesn’t make any sense. 

“Players are now making spectacular progress up front. Rodrygo and Vinicius are two cracks,” he said, before stating the duo, along with several other youngsters from Real Madrid could win the Ballon d’Or in the future.

“Sure, I see them both as Ballon d’Ors, we have to see how they evolve. Real Madrid only looks at the players they have and it’s not bad for us. Camavinga, Valverde, Militao Tchouameni… youngsters with a promising future,” Perez insisted.

Erling Haaland has also been linked heavily with Real Madrid. There have been reports that he has a €200 million release clause in his Manchester City contract which clubs outside of England can trigger in 2024.

When asked if he was aware of the existence of such a clause, he said: “I have no idea, I say again that we have the best players in the world.”

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Real Madrid News

Key Real Madrid star will be fit for Valladolid clash despite national team withdrawal



Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images

Real Madrid have been greeted with some positive news on the injury front as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is expected to be fit and ready for the upcoming La Liga clash against Real Valladolid.

The 30-year-old custodian had flown away for national team duty with Belgium and played the full game against Sweden last week. However, the Real Madrid ace was sent back to the club over the weekend due to a minor adductor strain.

This raised concerns over the former Chelsea star’s condition, especially with a busy period lying ahead for the Merengues.

However, Mario Cortegana of The Athletic has eased any nerves surrounding his situation, reporting that Courtois was subjected to tests upon returning to Spain and there is no reason for worry.

The report states that Real Madrid expect their No. 1 to be fit and available for their next game which will be against Real Valladolid in La Liga on April 2, Sunday.

It is further stated that the knock Courtois sustained was not a new one and that the 30-year-old had felt discomfort in the same area during Los Blancos’ UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg tie against Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this month.

Courtois has featured 32 times across all competitions this term, having missed a few matches due to fitness issues. He has managed just ten clean sheets and will be hoping to add to that against Valladolid, now that is reportedly fit to feature at the weekend.

In another boost, reports earlier today indicated that Toni Kroos does not have any injury after concerns were raised due to the midfielder doing individual training sessions over the past week.

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