Karim Benzema

Antoine Griezmann: Karim Benzema will end goal drought soon

Karim Benzema needs just one goal to get up and running for France again, says team-mate Antoine Griezmann. The striker approached Euro 2020 off the back of an excellent season at Real Madrid, having scored 30 goals in 46 matches, but Benzema is yet to find the net since making his return to the France squad after a six-year absence. Griezmann is confident the 33-year-old will start scoring regularly for Les Bleus before long, insisting he just needs one to get him going. “I think each attacker wants to score the first goal and the quicker he does that, the better it is for everybody,” Griezmann said at a press conference. “As soon as Karim gets one in the net, that will help him. We just need to be patient and remain confident. “You know me, I feel a lot better in the centre, I feel a lot...

Euro 2020: Wales set for hostile crowd as Italy eye knockouts

Wales are bracing for a hostile reception when they face Turkey in Baku at Euro 2020 on Wednesday while rejuvenated Italy can seal their place in the last-16 with victory against Switzerland. After drawing 1-1 with the Swiss in their opening Group A game, Wales play in the capital of Azerbaijan, with locals expected to get behind their Turkish neighbours, who will also have several thousand travelling fans on their side. Wales captain Gareth Bale, who experienced a dizzying run to the semi-finals at Euro 2016, said he was unfazed by the prospect of an aggressive atmosphere. “Hostility is no problem,” said the Real Madrid forward. “This is what we do for a living. We’re used to playing in away games and being in front of hostile crowds.” Turkey are desperate to shake off the disappointment ...

Zinedine Zidane ready to walk away from Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane will almost certainly leave Real Madrid at the end of this season, regardless of whether the team wins LaLiga. They face Granada tonight and if they pick up a win they will still be just two points behind Atletico Madrid with two games to go. But the 48-year-old coach, who has won two league titles and three Champions League crowns in less than four seasons, has all but made up his mind to walk away after the final game of the campaign at home to Villarreal on May 23. Zidane will be an immediate target for Juventus and for the France national side if they make a change after the Euros this summer. Madrid president Florentino Perez will be under pressure to promote Raul to replace him. He currently has the club’s youth team on the verge of promotion but Perez could also turn...

AC Milan ready to pay €30 million for Real Madrid’s Brahim Diaz

AC Milan are willing to pay as much as €30 million (£26m/$36m) to land Real Madrid forward Brahim Diaz, with the 21-year-old having made a positive impact during his loan spell with the Serie A side. Goal can reveal that Milan bosses are keen to make the loan move permanent and, although they do not have a purchase option, they are keen to discuss a transfer with Madrid. While Brahim has always wanted to succeed at the Bernabeu, Madrid will now weigh up whether to keep him beyond the end of the 2020-21 campaign or sell for what would be a significant amount amid the coronavirus crisis. Following his loan switch to Milan in September 2020, Brahim immediately took to life in Italy and has become an important member of Stefano Pioli’s first-team squad. He has made 25 appearances in all compet...

Real Madrid rekindle last 16 hopes with 3-2 win over Inter Milan

Real Madrid boosted their chances of reaching the UEFA Champions League knockout stages after a late winner by substitute Rodrygo. The win gave them a 3-2 home victory over Inter Milan in an absorbing Group B clash on Tuesday. The result left Real Madrid, winners of a record 13 titles in Europe’s premier club competition, level on four points with Shakhtar Donetsk. They are one point behind leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach and two ahead of bottom placed Inter Milan. Real Madrid had thrown away a two-goal lead and were flirting with a defeat which would have piled more pressure on manager Zinedine Zidane. Then, their Brazilian duo of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo combined to save the day. Chances had gone begging at either end before Karim Benzema gave the home side a 25th minute lead. He ro...

Zinedine Zidane includes Eden Hazard in Real Madrid trip to Germany

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has included Eden Hazard in the squad that will take on Borussia Monchengladbach. Hazard suffered a series of injuries in his campaign to life at Real Madrid, with ankle injuries hampering his performances. The Belgian attacker trained with the rest of the group on Sunday, as Real Madrid got back to work following El Clasico, and is now one of the 21 players in the midweek squad. The likes of Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Odriozola, as well as Nacho will miss out in the clash against Borussia Monchengladbach. Zidane will not count on Martin Odegaard and Mariano due to injury. The complete squad for the Borussia Monchengladbach trip is as follows: Thibaut Courtois, Andry Lunin, Diego Altube, Eder Militao, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Ferland Mendy, S...

Gareth Bale: Real Madrid blocked my return to Premier League

Gareth Bale has accused Real Madrid of making it “very difficult” to leave the Spanish club as the Wales forward looks to end his Bernabeu exile. Bale is out of favour with Real manager Zinedine Zidane and played just 48 minutes of Madrid’s 12 games when the Spanish season resumed after the coronavirus lockdown. Zidane, who has feuded with Bale throughout his two spells in charge, said the winger did not want to play in last season’s Champions League last-16 second-leg tie at Manchester City. Bale has two years left on his Real contract, but there appears little chance he will force his way into the manager’s plans. The 31-year-old almost joined Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning in 2019 before Real pulled the plug on the deal, a decision that still irks Bale. “I think the club needs...

Fabio Capello: Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard has sunk under weight of expectations

Eden Hazard has struggled to deal with the weight of the Real Madrid shirt following his high-profile move from Chelsea, former Real manager Fabio Capello has said. Hazard joined the Spanish club from Chelsea on a five-year contract for a reported 100 million euros ($116.54 million) ahead of the 2019-20 season. The Belgium international inspired Chelsea to two Premier League trophies during his time at Stamford Bridge but has failed to hit similar heights in Spain, with injuries limiting him to 21 appearances in all competitions this season. “He hasn’t been the player he was at Chelsea and he was injured for a long time, he hasn’t adapted,” Capello told Marca. “I’ve always thought of him as a great player but the Real shirt weighs heavily and Hazard has sunk this year. It’s clear that he’l...

Real Madrid win 34th Spanish LaLiga title

Real Madrid wrapped up the title in LaLiga with a game to spare thanks to a classy victory over Villarreal. Karim Benzema scored a goal in each half as Real Madrid clinched a 34th LaLiga title with a 2-1 victory over Villarreal. The Frenchman’s 20th and 21st league goals – the second of which came from a contentious penalty – of the season ultimately earned a win at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano that meant Barcelona’s result against Osasuna was rendered immaterial. Zinedine Zidane’s men were in control against game opponents until Vicente Iborra’s late header made for a nervy finish, but a 10th straight win since LaLiga’s resumption means Madrid are champions with a game to spare. Benzema has scored seven times in that run and it was fitting his contribution should round out their title succe...

Real Madrid clinch LaLiga title with tenth win in a row

Real Madrid continued their stunning run on Thursday to beat Villarreal and clinch the LaLiga title. Two goals from Karim Benzema helped Madrid secure a tenth win in a row, securing their 34th LaLiga crown. It is the 11th trophy in total the club have won with Zinedine Zidane in charge. Sergio Ramos and Benzema in particular have been crucial during the run-in, scoring five goals apiece in the nine fixtures since Spanish football returned last month. 🏆 ¡CAMPEONES!🏁 FP: @RealMadrid 2-1 @VillarrealCF⚽ @Benzema 29′, 77′ (p); Iborra 83′#Emirates | #34Ligas pic.twitter.com/uoBXQkQyBS — Real Madrid C.F.⚽ (@realmadrid) July 16, 2020 The title is just the second for Los Merengues in the last eight LaLiga seasons. Attention will now turn to the return...

Sergio Ramos becomes LaLiga’s all-time top scoring defender

Sergio Ramos’ goal in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad means the Real Madrid captain has become the highest-scoring defender in all of LaLiga history. Ramos’ seventh goal of the current LaLiga Santander season saw him pass Barcelona legend Ronald Koeman and move to 68 career goals in the most demanding league tournament around. The Andalusian has also scored against all 20 current LaLiga teams and his total includes an impressive range of finishes, from towering headers to long-range pile-drivers, and more recently a dead-eye from the penalty spot. Such a talent for goal-getting has been a constant for the center-back, who often featured further up the field while he was developing through his teenage years at boyhood club Sevilla. His first LaLiga goal came in September 2004, in a 2-1 ...

La Liga: Barcelona boss questions use of VAR

Barcelona boss Quique Setien believes that officials in La Liga are not using the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system correctly. It follows on directly from Real Madrid’s victory at Real Sociedad being marred by controversial officiating decisions surrounding key incidents in the clash. Los Blancos opened the scoring in Anoeta from a penalty decision before an equaliser for La Real was controversially ruled out by handball and Karim Benzema’s strike – Madrid’s second of the game – appearing to have been controlled initially by a handball. It was a result which took Madrid to the top of La Liga for the first time since the resumption of Spanish football as they leapfrogged Setien’s Blaugrana – who were to a scoreless draw at Sevilla on Friday – on goal difference. “There are things that we...

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