Karim Benzema reportedly said Real Madrid players spent the eve of El Clasico playing video games because FC Barcelona don’t longer have Lionel Messi

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Real Madrid talisman, Karim Benzema reportedly said his teammates spent the eve of March 20, 2022, El Clasico, playing video games because FC Barcelona don’t longer have Lionel Messi.

Recall that Lionel Messi played for the senior team of FC Barcelona between 2005 and 2021 before he left for Paris Saint Germain in August 2021.

Before he left Barcelona, he played 45 El Clasicos, winning 19, recording 11 draws, and recording 15 defeats. Messi holds the record for the all-time highest number of goals in Clasicos (24 goals), and the all-time highest number of assists (14 assists). Hence, his absence at Barca has been a huge relief for Real Madrid.

Ahead of the Spanish La Liga clash between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona on Sunday, March 20, most bookmakers projected that Real Madrid would win due to their recent run of form.

Recall that Real Madrid defeated PSG 3-1 on March 9 in a UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash. On March 14, 2022, Real Madrid beat Mallorca 3-0. Hence, they were expected to continue with the smooth run by beating Barca on Sunday.

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Unfortunately, a few days before the game, it was confirmed that Karim Benzema has developed a calf injury. That was seen as a big blow because the 34-year-old French striker has been the club’s best player so far this season.

Before the Clasico, Benzema had scored a whopping 32 goals and provided 13 assists in 34 games in all competitions. In Spanish La Liga alone, the Frenchman has scored 22 goals and provided 11 assists in 25 games.

Based on his contribution to Real Madrid’s progress so far this season, most football enthusiasts predicted that it might be difficult for the Spanish giants to beat Barca without Karim Benzema.

But during the post-match press conference, the club’s coach, Carlo Ancelotti said his team would beat Barca without Benzema.

“He’s obviously an important part of this team, but he usually gets the job done and we now have to keep that job and look for other solutions upstairs”, the coach said.

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“He is a player who is 34 years old and sometimes it can happen to him. They are very minor annoyances and he has recovered very quickly.

“When he has come back, he has made a difference. We have another two weeks to work with him and then he will make a difference again.

“He doesn’t worry me that he won’t play tomorrow (March 20) because we have time for him to play at the end of the season and make a difference.”

During the game, Karim Benzema sat on the stands and watched as FC Barcelona thrashed his team 4-0 right at the Bernabeu.

Karim Benzema in pain as he watch FC Barcelona thrash his team, Real Madrid on Sunday, March 21, 2022.
Karim Benzema in pain as he watch FC Barcelona thrash his team, Real Madrid on Sunday, March 21, 2022.

The humiliating defeat pushed Barca back to the top four. Barca now occupy the 3rd spot on the league table with 54 points in 28 games. While Real Madrid remain league leaders with 66 points in 29 games.

A tweet by ESPN claimed that Benzema mentioned that his teammates like Vinicius Junior and Casemiro spent the eve of the El Clasico drinking and playing video games.

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“Tonight’s embarrassing loss versus Barcelona is due to underestimating them”, Benzema said as quoted by ESPN. “Yesterday, I woke up to Vinicius and Casemiro drinking together and playing a FIFA Kick-Off Match at 4. am. I asked them ‘why are you not resting before tomorrow’s game?, Vinicius replied with ‘no need, it’s Barcelona without Messi.”

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