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Benzema hopeful on fitness for PSG Champions League clash


Paris (AFP) – Karim Benzema is confident he will be fit to play for Real Madrid against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday after a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

“I feel much better but I will see how I am after training,” Benzema told reporters in Paris on Monday.

“I am always prepared to force it for my team, otherwise I would have stayed back in Madrid, but I am not going to risk injuring myself again either.”

Benzema, who is Real’s top scorer this season with 24 goals in all competitions, has missed his team’s last three matches since coming off in a 2-2 draw with Elche on January 23.

In his absence, Carlo Ancelotti’s side have scored just one goal and Gareth Bale came in from the cold in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Villarreal in La Liga, making his first appearance since August.

Bale is out of contract at the end of this season but Ancelotti indicated that the Welshman will still have a role to play between now and then.

“He is coming to the end of his contract. Maybe in the past he didn’t have much motivation but now he is fine and he wants to finish here in the way he deserves to because Bale has helped this club win so many titles,” said Ancelotti.

Meanwhile, Benzema said playing against his France teammate Kylian Mbappe would be “special” amid ongoing speculation that the PSG superstar will move to Madrid when his own contract expires in June.

“It is special to play against Kylian because we play together at international level. Everyone knows he might come to Madrid one day but the most important thing is to win this game. We can be friends afterwards,” Benzema said.

The sides clash at the Parc des Princes in the first leg with the return set to be played in Madrid on March 9.

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