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Benzema breaks his silence: “I’ve had some problems”

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema took his Ballon d’Or to the home of former club Lyon and spoke about his fitness issues

Roddy Cons
Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema gestures to fans during the presentation of his Ballon d'Or trophy at half time of the French L1 football match between Olympique Lyonnais (OL) and OGC Nice at The Groupama Stadium in Decines-Charpieu, central-eastern France, on November 11, 2022. (Photo by OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE/AFP via Getty Images)

Karim Benzema has spoken in public for the first time since being crowned Ballon d’Or winner in October. The Real Madrid striker, who was in Lyon to parade his trophy at the home of the club where he made his name, spoke to Amazon Prime, confirming that he had had some fitness issues which had prevented him from playing regularly for Los Blancos in the build-up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Winning the World Cup would be one of my best ever birthday presents (Benzema turns 35 on 19 December, the day after the final). Each match will be a cup final. We’ve got a great group of players, we’re going to take it one game at a time. I’ve had a few little fitness issues but nothing serious. There’s still plenty of time until the 22nd (when France play their first game against Australia). I’ll be fine, I’ll be physically and mentally ready,” said the former Lyon man when asked about the upcoming World Cup, for which he has been recalled by Didier Deschamps after missing out in 2018.

“It’s amazing. Thanks to my current club Real Madrid for helping me make my dreams come true, and to Lyon, my boyhood club. They’ve always been here for me, I started making my way through the ranks here, so it’s an unbelievable moment, it’s really heart-warming for me. It’s my city, it’s the club that helped me fulfil my ambition of signing for Real Madrid. Seeing all the people here and all the fans is incredible, it makes me really proud of the work I’ve done and I know they’re proud of me too.”


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