With the second leg of the Madrid rivalry in the Champions League just a day away, Real Madrid suffers a major setback as Karim Benzema is ruled out for the match due to an injury.
According to a statement released by the team through their website, Benzema suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. The 27-year old France international is said to have suffered the injury during the first leg of the Real-Atletico quarterfinals, where he was taken off the field in the 76th minute of the match. Real and Atletico ended up with a scoreless draw in the first leg.
Due to the injury, Benzema was not present in Saturday’s La Liga Match against Malaga, where his team won 3-1. According to newspaper AS, there is no word yet as to how long he is expected to be sidelined.
With Benzema scoring a total of 22 goals for all the competition that the Whites are in this season, manager Carlo Ancelotti is expected to lose a big part of of his offensive force. The striker’s injury also comes in a time when Real also lost other key players to injury. Winger Gareth Bale suffered an injury in his left calf, while midfielder Luka Modric has the same injury as Benzema. Both players got their injuries in the Malaga match.
Aside from detailing the current status of his players, Ancelotti also clarified rumors about him going back to Serie A, where he helmed AC Milan before moving to the Premier League to head Chelsea in 2009. He also held the managerial p0osition at Paris Saint Germain before landing with Real in 2013.
“Italian football is still competitive, but the difference is the atmosphere,” Ancelotti remarked. “The stadiums are always more empty compared to other countries and you notice the violence more in Italy than elsewhere.”
“It isn’t this which is keeping me away from Italy, though. It’s the pleasure of experiencing an adventure abroad and getting to know different sporting cultures.”