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Real Madrid won’t be same without Benzema, says Barcelona star: “Will be an important loss”

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with MARCA, Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has claimed that Real Madrid will not be the same without Karim Benzema following the veteran striker’s departure to Al-Ittihad.

Benzema brought an end to his 14-year partnership with Real Madrid this summer, opting to move to Saudi Arabia on a free transfer after receiving a lucrative contract offer from Al-Ittihad.

And despite strong efforts being made to replace him with a superstar name such as Harry Kane or Kylian Mbappe, Barcelona star Dembele is of the opinion that Los Blancos will not be the same without his compatriot Benzema.

“Without Benzema, Real Madrid loses a lot because he is the Ballon d’Or and a great player. Real Madrid without Benzema is not the same. It will be a very important loss. And also for La Liga, because he’s a player who scores a lot of goals, gives assists… and he’s a phenomenal player,” Dembele said.

As for possible replacements, Mbappe has been linked heavily with a move to Real Madrid despite the PSG superstar insisting he wishes to remain in France for the next season.

Dembele, who is currently with Mbappe in the French national team camp, was asked about the potential transfer of his good friend to Real Madrid, to which he replied: “I don’t know (laughs). I don’t know, let’s see what will happen in the next few years. I don’t know if he will leave PSG.”

The Frenchman was also asked to select one Real Madrid player he would like to sign at Barcelona, and he replied with the name of midfield icon Luka Modric, saying:

“Modric. I like Ter Stegen a lot, but Courtois is a great goalkeeper too. But if I had to choose just one, I would choose Modric.”

He also stated that Ferland Mendy was the most difficult player he has faced, saying:

“For me, Ferland Mendy. Because we’ve known each other very well for a long time, since we were kids. And he’s a very strong and fast defender. It’s difficult to get past him. He also knows me very well, which makes it more difficult for me.”

Finally, commenting on Real Madrid’s failed title challenge in La Liga this past season, Dembele said:

“Real Madrid are always a very difficult opponent who fight for every title. We wanted to win this league and we didn’t want to let any points slip away that would allow them to get closer. We were determined to win it.”

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Real Madrid News

Benzema talks Vinicius, Mbappe, Ballon d’Or, decision to leave Real Madrid

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Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images

Last Saturday marked a special moment for Real Madrid fans as Karim Benzema, the former captain and Ballon d’Or winner, made his return to Spain. 

This visit was his first in over a year and has generated significant excitement among his supporters. Benzema, now playing for Al Ittihad, was set to participate in a pre-season friendly match against Elche at Estadi Olímpic Camilo Cano.

The Al Ittihad team had been gearing up for the new season by holding training sessions in Benidorm, a well-known Spanish coastal town that is a favourite among tourists. 

This picturesque setting has provided a perfect backdrop for the team’s preparations, blending hard work with the beautiful scenery of the Mediterranean coast.

Benzema’s return to Spain is not just about playing one match. The 36-year-old striker is also set to face two of his old rivals in upcoming games. 

Al Ittihad has scheduled matches against Sevilla on July 26 and Real Betis on August 3. These encounters are highly anticipated, as Benzema has a long history with both clubs from his time in La Liga.

Real Madrid hold a special place

During a recent training session, Benzema took some time to sit down for an interview with MARCA, he shared his thoughts on his return to Spain and his enduring connection to Real Madrid. 

Real Madrid will have a special place in Karim Benzema’s life. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Benzema made it clear that, despite moving on to a new chapter in his career, Real Madrid will always hold a special place in his heart.

“[Last season was] spectacular, very good. Real Madrid are always the best team in the world. Players come and go, but Real Madrid will always be at the top, at the very top. It is the best and will continue to prove it,” he began saying.

“Joy. A lot,” said when asked about Madrid’s recent UEFA Champions League triumph. 

“It’s my team and I will always be on the side of Real Madrid and my teammates. It’s logical. Real Madrid is Real Madrid, something unique.”

Decision to leave Real Madrid

The 36-year-old forward left Real Madrid last year and when asked if he regrets he decision, he added,

“Some come and others go. It’s like that and it will always happen. It was the right moment. Of course, I look back and feel happy. 

“Last season they gave a sensation of power, of good football and that’s why they won the Champions League and the League. Today I don’t see any other team that can be better than Real Madrid,” he said.

Furthermore, when asked if there is any team capable of threatening Real Madrid, he said, 

“It’s the best team in the world. It’s always strong and fighting for everything. I stand there, look around and don’t see any team that’s capable of being better.”

Benzema picks Vini Jr for Ballon d’Or

Karim Benzema says Vinicius Jr deserves to win the Ballon d’Or. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

This year’s race for the Ballon d’Or is going to heat up as multiple players have made the case for themselves. However, Benzema thinks that Vinicius must win the honour.

“Ballon d’Or? I’m going to say Vini because he deserves it for his season and not just for what he’s done this year, but also for what he’s done last year. 

“He was also above the rest with his football and what he does with the ball. He’s a kid, a complete footballer”

Speaking about Vinicius, he added, “He can win a game on his own, of course with the help of his teammates, but he is very good when Real Madrid needs him and that is why I think he deserves it. 

“He is always there and he always shows up. For all of that, my favourite is Vini.”

Benzema’s thoughts on Mbappe

Karim Benzema says Kylian Mbappe was destined for Real Madrid. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2023/24 season had no owner of the number 9 shirt at Real Madrid, but Mbappe’s arrival has now fulfilled that. Speaking about his compatriot’s move, Benzema explained,

“Sooner or later he will play for Real Madrid. I have always thought that and that is what has happened. He is a great player.”

Lastly, when asked about Madrid’s dominance and if they can repeat the success of last season, he said, 

“Of course, of course. Really. I just don’t see a team that can be better than Real Madrid. Really. They have everything. Players, coach and president.”

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