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Real Madrid hit by Benzema injury ahead of Atalanta test


Madrid (AFP) – Karim Benzema could miss Real Madrid’s Champions League game against Atalanta next week after Zinedine Zidane confirmed the striker was injured on Thursday. 

Benzema missed training on Friday morning and Zidane said he will not travel with the team for Saturday’s La Liga game away at Real Valladolid. 

The club have not yet confirmed the specifics of the problem.

“He won’t be with us tomorrow,” said Zidane in a press conference on Friday. “He has a problem and because it came up yesterday he won’t be there tomorrow. We’ll see for next week.” 

Madrid might cope without Benzema against Valladolid but his absence for the trip to Bergamo in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday would be a huge blow. 

The Frenchman has scored 17 times in all competitions this season and has netted in his last two consecutive matches. 

“We know what Karim gives us and how important he is for us,” said Zidane. “But we have to deal with this and get him back as soon as possible, like the others.” 

Real Madrid have been plagued by injury problems in recent weeks with Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo, Eder Militao, Alvaro Odriozola, Fede Valverde and Rodrygo also likely to miss Saturday’s trip to the Jose Zorilla Stadium. 

Madrid sit six points behind Atletico Madrid in La Liga, having played a game more than their city rivals.

Zidane was also asked on Friday about Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund, following the duo’s superb outings in the Champions League this week. 

In particular, Real Madrid have been regularly linked with a move for Mbappe, whose PSG contract expires in June 2022. “I watch all the games and I like to see great things like any fan,” said Zidane. 

“They are both very good and very young, players of the present and the future. Whether I prefer one or the other, I won’t say, everyone has their own preferences.” 

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