Karim Benzema, the Ballon d’Or winner this year, and Luka Modric, the winner last year, won’t be playing for Real Madrid in this week’s Champions League match in Leipzig, coach Carlo Ancelotti announced at a press conference on Monday. The left thigh of Benzema is hurting, and Modric, the master of the midfield, is reportedly having adductor pain.
Although neither is regarded as dangerous, Ancelotti did not want to play them on Tuesday because Real had already advanced to the knockout round. Although there are simply minor physical hiccups for Karim and Luka, Ancelotti stated, “We don’t want to take any chances.”
I would rather lose Modric or Benzema for a game than a month. In addition, Real will be missing Uruguayan midfielder Federico Valverde, who injured his leg during the weekend’s 3-1 victory over Sevilla that put Madrid three points clear of the La Liga standings.
“It’s a very intense moment in the season, with too many matches, in my opinion,” said Ancelotti who will also be without Dani Ceballos and Mariano for the trip to Germany. “We are holding on, even if we have some absentees.”
Vinicius Junior will start at the front, most likely with fellow Brazilian Rodrygo, according to Ancelotti.