A new Benz, not so Mercedes
It was a good day for almost all the Madridistas who represented their international teams on Friday. Iker, Xabi, Arbeloa and Sergio Ramos won 4-0 at Liechtenstein. Ozil and Khedira helped Germany with their 1-0 win over Belgium. Carvalho enabled a crippled Portuguese line up snatch a point against Cyprus in a 4-4 draw. Canales scored a beauty for the juniors against Netherlands in a 2-1 victory in what proved to be a crucial game. The only one to have had a bad day would be Karim Benzema who was unable to participate in France’s loss against Belarus.
But now, things have changed for the 22-year-old. Having declared himself fit and ready for the challenge of reviving his country’s fortunes in Tuesday’s second UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Bosnia the forward, who has scored eight goals in his 28 apperances for France, has recovered from an ankle injury which ruled him out of the opening fixture.
Benzema is likely to start on Tuesday in what should prove to be a real test against a Bosnian side that just failed to reach the World Cup finals. He insists he is more than ready to take up the challenge which has been made tougher by the fact coach Laurent Blanc has lost three of his first choice forwards – Loic Remy, Louis Saha and Guillaume Hoarau – to injury since the Belarus defeat. Benzema said:
I am ready to make a lot of sacrifices to establish myself at Real. I am ready to fight for my place at both Real and the French team. I have had a year of adapting which did not go really well at Real, but this year I have come with new ambitions, that of playing regularly. I am fit, I have returned to training normally, and I am fine physically.
Benzema has also received praise from his national team coach, Blanc, who said:
In terms of his morale, I would say that he is ready in his head, and ready to make certain sacrifices notably on the level of diet. I am happy to hear him say that, for to succeed at a big club like Real, it is necessary to have both footballing and psychological qualities.
So do we really have a new Benz? Only time can answer.
No training ground news today as the players were given a day off. It should resume tomorrow.
Para Siempre Blanco!