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Tchouameni talks Benzema, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Ousmane Dembele, injuries ahead of World Cup



Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

The FIFA World Cup 2022 is just a matter of a few days away from kicking off. France are the current world champions, having won the tournament in Russia in 2018. But they head into the competition without two of their stalwarts in Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante.

So, there will be extra responsibility riding on Real Madrid star Aurelien Tchouameni, who will have to assume the role of the midfield general for France at the World Cup.

The 22-year-old has been in good nick for the Merengues heading into the tournament in Qatar and will be looking forward to carrying that form forward for Les Bleus.

France begin their tournament with a clash against Australia next week and ahead of the match, Tchouameni attended a press conference at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, where he discussed several topics concerning his own form and the French national team.

On his strong performances for the French national team: “Since I made my debut I have played very well. It’s because of my teammates too. There are no excuses on the pitch. We played a good game against Austria in the last break. We lost to Denmark. That defeat helps us learn.”

On Karim Benzema’s injury issues: “Regarding Karim, he is the best player in the world. He is a top player. He has been demonstrating it for many years. It is always a pleasure to play with him. He is a great player and is used to criticism. It hasn’t affected him at all. I know he will be 100%. Let’s hope he is ready for the first game.”

“I’m not worried. He is calm. He has experience. There is no concern with Benzema, it is very good that he has come and I am sure that he will be prepared to help the team.”

On playing his first World Cup: “It was one of the best moments of my life when I received the call. There are others, but the first World Cup is a spectacular moment for me.”

On whether there is more pressure on him without Kante and Pogba: “No, not at all. The important thing is what we do on the field. I don’t feel pressure. In Madrid, there is always pressure, for example. I take this responsibility of playing for France with great enthusiasm and the pressure doesn’t affect me.”

On his personal development: “It is very nice to see everything that has happened to me in recent years. I am very happy to be able to be in this situation.”

On Vinicius and Rodrygo: “I have talked a lot about the World Cup with both of them. We have had many injuries in our team, unfortunately. Brazil and Argentina are very top teams.”

On whether playing for Real Madrid helps him at the international level: “When you play for the best team in the world, Real Madrid, you learn a lot. I have progressed with Ancelotti and with various colleagues. I am very happy to be able to play in the World Cup.”

On his calm demeanour: “I think that everything depends on my personality. Ever since I debuted, I’ve had this personality and mentality. I think that when you reach the elite, you have to give everything. I give my best and try to have maximum confidence.”

On Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele’s form: “It’s difficult to talk about Barcelona players (laughs). He is a player who can make a difference when he is close to the box. We are very happy to have a player of that quality. I hope he can show it at the World Cup.”

On injuries in the national team: “If there are injuries, there are quality players who can replace them. Our goals have not changed because of major injuries. We want to win.”

Source: Diario AS

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Real Madrid News

Barcelona key duo expected to miss Copa del Rey second leg vs Real Madrid



Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

It hasn’t been a good week for Real Madrid, who look all set to relinquish their Spanish league title to arch-rivals Barcelona come the end of the season, following a narrow defeat to the Blaugrana at the weekend.

However, as Real Madrid enter the international break, there is some positive news for Carlo Ancelotti and his men.

As reported by Toni Juanmarti, Barcelona look set to miss out on their two star players in Ousmane Dembele and Pedri due to injury, ahead of the upcoming second-leg semifinal tie against Real Madrid, in Copa Del Rey.

Real Madrid are heading into this game with a 1-0 defeat in the first-leg, meaning they must beat Barça with a two-goal margin in order to book a place in the final. The absence of both Pedri and Dembele, to that end, could be a major boost for Ancelotti.

Pedri, who was expected to return to full fitness for the second leg, has suffered a relapse. It has set his return back to three or four weeks late, meaning the youngster will not return until the April 23 tie against Atletico Madrid.

The situation is not much different for Ousmane Dembele. The explosive attacker is recovering slower than expected and though he was tipped to return in the league game against Real Madrid this month, he remains a major doubt for this Copa Del Rey tie.

However, Barcelona did register a narrow victory over Los Blancos even without these two individuals, so the task is definitely cut out for Ancelotti and his men as they look to exact revenge against the Catalans in Copa Del Rey next month.

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