Zinedine Zidane expressed delight on Friday in his Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema’s France recall ahead of La Liga’s final round of games with Actual contention to keep the name.
Benzema’s form this year -he’s netted 29 times death 20 league goals in all three seasons since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus in 2018 — has helped keep living Real’s hopes of denying Atletico Madrid on Saturday’s final round of matches.
If Actual down Villarreal and Atletico draw or lose Valladolid afterwards the Liga trophy will remain about the Santiago Bernabeu sideboard.
Zidane, who had previously questioned Deschamps’ logic in snubbing Benzema, said: “I’m thrilled that Karim can return to the France team.
“It is what he desired. I’m thrilled because it was what he had been waiting for.”
When asked on the eve of the match press conference when he had some role in his player’s reintegration he replied: “No, that I had no role at all at Karim’s return.”
Zidane stated Benzema had”always done everything” to be reunited with all the World Cup winners.
He urged that the court of public opinion on social media scrutinising Benzema and France’s performance in the European philosopher to hold fire on his very best player.
“I only hope that they will leave him alone. It is not reasonable to say,’ as we’ve got the best player, if we win the European Championship he’s great, then if we do not win the European Championship, then it is going to be because…’.
“I expect that they will not enter this stuff.
“I hope that we enjoy his football, and stop there, that is enough.”
For Real’s closing game on Saturday, Zidane frees back captain Sergio Ramos from a hamstring injury that has kept him from the previous 3 games.
But there is a question mark over Eden Hazard’s fitness following the Belgian attacker missed Friday training.
“It’s nothing important but we don’t wish to accept any risks,” said Zidane, who denied media reports this week that he had told his players he would be stepping down from his second stint as manager of Real following Saturday’s finale. (AFP)