The French centre forward is the latest Real Madrid star that is doubtful for the clash against Manchester City in the crucial semi final game on Tuesday.
The 28-year old striker limped out of their 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano at the weekend in a key La Liga game. This leaves the head coach, Zinedine Zidane, with less options as the Spanish giant hope to clinch their 11th European title.
Real Madrid have not had the best of preparations in the run-up to the game, as the club hopes to win their first title under Zinedine Zidane. The La Liga seems a very close competition especially as defending champions, Barcelona, picked up form again after a temporary slip. Atletico Madrid are also not slacking.
Real Madrid coach on Benzema said:
“We’ll evaluate [Benzema], but he didn’t take a blow.
“I thought he did, but for now we’ll go back to Valdebebas and see what he has. I hope it’s nothing and that he can play on Tuesday, but we don’t know yet."
Portuguese star, Cristiano Ronaldo is back in training after his injury scare and coach od City, Manuel Pellegrini, is expecting the player to feature against his side on Tuesday. He said:
"He's a big player who makes the difference for Real Madrid, so it's very important to stop him.
Gareth Bale on the other hand who is keen on his return to England said:
"The most important thing is to try and get an away goal, and then keep a clean sheet," he said.
"Those are the two important things for us for being in the game because at the Bernabeu we're very strong at home and we fancy our chances.
"For us it's always a psychological advantage [to play at home]. We need to get a positive result at the Etihad and then being in front of our home fans at the Bernabeu knowing exactly what we need to do is alway a great help for us."
The French national team manager, Didier Deschamps has evaded questions about Karim Benzema.
Many people believed that with the quality of players in the attacking department for France, Benzema is not required in the France team.
When asked about Karim Benzema’s importance for the team, Didier Deschamps evaded the questions and told the media that they need to focus on players that are currently present in the group and not those who are absent.
Indeed, with players such as Olivier Giroud, Dimitri Payet, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Kingsley Coman, Antoine Griezmann and Anthony Martial available for France, the absence of Karim Benzema is not really felt in the national team.
The Real Madrid man is currently suspended from the national team amidst of accusations of conspiracy. He is being investigated as part of an alleged attempt to blackmail his teammate Valbuena.
His case will be heard on April 15th, and then a decision will be made on whether Karim Benzema should return to the French national side or not.
Karim Benzema is currently preparing himself for the Clasico game against Barcelona this weekend. He seems to be in good form with a video release of him scoring a spectacular goal on Real Madrid’s training ground.
His first game for the French national team came in 2007when he participated in a match against Austria where he scored the only goal of the game. He will then go on to make more than 80 appearances for France and scored 27 goals along the way.
He was part of the team that participated at Euro 2008, Euro 2012 and 2014 World Cup.
Karim Benzema will definitely await his case hearing with impatience to find out whether he will represent his country again and add to this tally of 80 appearances for Les Bleus.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has given his strong support to the return of star striker Karim Benzema to the French national team.
The Real Madrid striker was recently suspended due to off the field issues. He faces an uncertain future as far as the national team goes. The French national team have been very strict on discipline over the last few years. After suffering immensely in back-to-back major tournaments, Didier Deschamps has taken this step in order to ensure that the players remain professional at the very top level. This, however, was not the case with Benzema while on international duty.
It was recently revealed that he played a role in blackmailing his international teammate Mathieu Valbuena. The 28-year-old striker is not the last French talent to have been barred from appearing for the national team. However, his absence will have a detrimental consequence on the results according to Zidane. Benzema has consistently maintained his innocence in the matter. He continues to deliver for the Spanish outfit. The former Lyon striker has turned out into one of the best centre forwards and he has effectively replaced Thierry Henry in the French national team. Doing well on the upcoming Euro 2016 is of great importance to France and Zidane has called for Benzema to be included in the squad once again.
"To respond clearly, no, France can't allow themselves to do without a player like Benzema. When you see his stats, what he does on the pitch, you don't want to do without a player like that when you have the possibility of having him in the team.With Madrid it would be difficult for me to do without a player like Karim.In addition to the goals he scores, he's just impressive at every level because he's able to link up with and play with everyone. Not everyone can do that," said Zidane.
Arsene Wenger is being very active in this summer transfer window as the French manager has already signed a number of players including: PetrCech, Joel Campbell and ChubaAkpom but this is far from over for Arsenal as the Premier League club is still targeting a few more players.
Signing PetrCech is a huge accomplishment as Arsenal has secured the services of a veteran player who is thirsty on getting back into the pitch and snatching a regular spot at the Emirates Stadium and this is what he struggled to do during his last few years with Chelsea.
PetrCech has already demonstrated that even at his 33 years of age, he still has what it takes to compete against the best players in the world and this is why Arsenal opted to sign him but there is someone else who has entered the radar of Arsene Wenger and it’s Real Madrid’s KarimBenzema.
It’s believed that the new manager of Real Madrid, Rafael Benitez has plans of putting C.Ronaldo into a more central attacking figure in the Spanish club and Benzema might have to be offloaded in order for this to happen.
KarimBenzema might not be the flashiest player in the world of football but the French attacker still manages to stand out despite being in a team with is filled with world class players. In the previous season of La Liga, Benzema was the 9th highest goal-scorer as he found the back of the net on 15 occasions and provided his teammates with 10 assists.
If Benzema is indeed available to be signed by any club during the summer transfer window, Arsenall will face competition as there are other clubs that would be interested in signing Benzema and one of these teams is Manchester United.
Robin van Persie is believed to be on the verge of leaving Manchester United and the Premier League club will have to search around the transfer market for a new striker who can play alongside Wayne Rooney.
Karim Benzema says that it was a disastrous result for Real Madrid in the latest Madrid derby. After having such a fantastic record over Atletico Madrid for several decades, Madrid have lost to Diego Simeone’s team on a number of occasions in the last two years.
The 4-0 thrashing at the Vicente Calderon, though, will rank as one of the most embarrassing for the club in its illustrious history.
Benzema was part of the team that suffered this defeat, while the league’s top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo also came back to start his first match since the suspension.
Despite the attacking trio having cost more than £ 200 million, they were unable to register more than a single shot on target. Benzema says that he is left disappointed, just as all the Madrid players, about the result, but he is taking the criticism that the club are receiving from the media with pinch of salt. Madrid still continue to hold the lead in the la Liga but their advantage has been cut to just one point. Barcelona have been on an imperious run of form since the 1-0 defeat against Real Sociedad, while Atletico also cannot be ruled out of the race since they are only four points behind Carlo Ancelotti’s team.
"I will take criticism seriously from those who have played the game at the highest level. But if it comes from someone who has never played the game then I don't take it seriously.I'm not an actor. I'm not in the game to look good for the cameras. There are others who do that in life but I like to laugh and I get along with everyone.When people see me on the street - whether they are old, young, women or children - everyone shows me affection,” said Benzema.
Real Madrid have extended their winning run to 18 matches on the bounce.
Even though the goal scoring exploits of Cristiano Ronaldo have secured most of the headlines this campaign, Karim Benzema has also been equally fantastic. The French forward’s form has been imperious and has coincided with Madrid’s great run. After being heavily criticised for his lack of form in the early part of the campaign, Benzema has either assisted scored a goal in each of the last 18 games (apart from the 3-0 win over Celta de Vigo). The run started with the 5-1 win over FC Basel and it recently concluded with the match against Celta de Vigo.
Prior to this run, Benzema had scored only one goal in six appearances for the Spanish club. The recent run of form has taken his tally to 13 goals, which puts him alongside the likes of Neymar and Lionel Messi. Ronaldo continues to be way ahead in front with 23 for the season. Benzema has also seen on loan striker Javier Hernandez struggle for first-team opportunities. The Mexican came from Manchester United on a season-long loan with a view of staying at the Santiago Bernabeu on a permanent basis. Hernandez has started in only one match due to Benzema’s form.
“Karim’s form is a reflection of the team`s form, good on every level.Karim is being boosted by the team, but the team is also being boosted by Karim, not only because of his goals but also because of his all around performance," said Ancelotti. Apart from scoring, Benzema has also been very crucial in starting the defence. His work rate has often helped Madrid win the ball high up the pitch, which in turn helps them counter-attack with impressive pace from the likes of Gareth Bale and Ronaldo.
The Sunderland boss, Gus Poyet, is extremely saddened by the fact that Phil Bardsley left the club this summer.
Bardsley had had altercations with Sunderland hierarchy at the start of the 2013-14 Season and he was sidelined by the club because of that, but, Poyet, after taking charge, brought him back in and the defender responded fantastically well.
His solidity in the deep helped Sunderland pull off some good results in the last couple of months of the season and they ended up escaping demotion to the second tier.
Not only that, Bardsley was a big contributor in the Black Cats’ campaign in the league Cup as well.
So, quite obviously, Sunderland wanted him to sign the extension during the summer, but, the 29-year old refused and preferred to go to Stoke City instead.
That hurt Poyet and rightly so. He had given a new lifeline to the player and thus, he must have expected loyalty from him. But, it wasn’t to be.
This Tuesday, Bardsley will be representing Stoke against Sunderland in a Cup game.
In the press conference ahead of that match, when Poyet was asked if it’s going to be hurtful to see Bardsley featuring for the opposition side, he said, “Yes of course, but, in professional soccer, these things are common.”
“In Bardsley’s case, yes, there is some disappointment. He was fantastic last season coming into the team, but, then, he decided to move away. It happens at times.”
In their first Cup game this season, the Black Cats had beaten Birmingham City by 3-0 at St. Andrews. That match was played on 27th of last month.
Sunderland has not won any game in the Premier League though this season. They have played three draws, but, no win.
The Frenchman Karim Benzema has recently been linked with a move to Liverpool after the Premier League club offloaded their star striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona. The manager of Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers is eager on finding a player in the transfer market that can fill in the gap left by the Uruguayan attacker and now he is setting his sights on Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.
Liverpool is edging towards a move with Loic Remy and Dejan Lovren and Benzema is the latest player to enter the radar of Brendan Rodgers as he is trying to reinforce his squad before the start of the next season.
Even with all of the recent reports and rumors that are linking Karim Benzema with Liverpool, it does not seem like Carlo Ancelotti has any plans of releasing of the Frenchman anytime soon. During the upcoming season it’s expected that Benzema will be playing alongside C.Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez as the main attacking players for Real Madrid and their journey of protecting their Champions League title.
With the 2014 World Cup having reached its end, many people are questioning the performances of the French players as they were knocked out from the worldwide event during the quarter-final stages when playing against Germany, where they ultimately lost 1-0.
When the journey was over for France, Benzema remained optimistic about what his teammates accomplished as he went on saying that the team should be proud about how far they reached.
“We can be proud of ourselves. Do not forget that this is one of the best teams in the world and not one of us had played in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.”
Considering the fact that Real Madrid has a price tag of €40 million for Karim Benzema and his substantially high wages, it would not be a viable option for Brendan Rodgers to spend that amount of money for Benzema who already has a clear future with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has stated that he is hoping that his international teammate Franck Ribery is not at his best when he comes back against him in the Champions League semi-final. Ribery was not very influential when his Bayern Munich team met Real Madrid in the first leg of the semi-final. Benzema scored the decisive goal, as the Spaniards managed a 1-0 win. However, the victory margin could have been even more decisive had the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria been more clinical with their finishing.
Ribery, on the other hand, was replaced much earlier than expected, as he did not create a lot of impact. His teammate Arjen Robben was also not great either, as Bayern Munich controlled possession, but they were not able to create much penetration. The second leg is expected to be much different since Guardiola will be making a couple of changes in the hope of getting back into the tie. Further, the team also will be motivated heavily by the home fans behind them. Due to these advantages, Bayern Munich are the favourites for the return leg.
Ahead of the match, Benzema has stated that he is hoping that Ribery has one of his off days like he had last week.
“The team. All of the team has to be strong. Franck Ribery is a really great player and I hope he doesn’t have his best day. I don’t know if it will be decisive. It’s true he knows the team well, but we also know how he prepares his sides. We are very focused and we’ll give everything to win this game. There isn’t a special plan. We know how they play, they like to have the ball and take their time to attack. We are very fast. A win is essential for us,” said Benzema.
There was a time not so long back when Real Madrid fans used to be glad to know that their team was going to be up against Atletico Madrid and the main reason behind that was Los Blancos’ domination during the Madrid derbies, but, in the last one year or so, things have changed. The Madrid derbies have no longer remained one sided.
Since the arrival of impact players like Diego Costa, Atletico have gone from strength to strength and they have now become a side which possess the capability of beating Real Madrid. They have done that twice in the recent times and they would have the chance to do it again as they take on their local rivals this weekend in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey semi final.
The match will take place at Santiago Bernabeu. So, Real Madrid would definitely have slight advantage as they would have the crowd right behind them, but, they are not the favourites; that’s for sure. They don’t have as many in form players as Atletico have at this point of time.
However, the availability of Gareth Bale for the game is a positive thing for Real. The Wales international has recently regained complete fitness, but, he hasn’t had much training under his belt. So, whether to get him into the match day squad or not, that would be a big call for the Real management.
Injury has consistently troubled Bale since the time he has made his way to Spain. He could have made a lot more appearances for Real by now if his fitness had been good.
The winger has so far played only 22 matches for the Spanish giants in which he has found the net 10 times.