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Karim Benzema ready for Real Madrid’s last game with his future up in the air

Benzema, who missed the trip to Seville, could bid farewell this weekend.

Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema vies with Rayo Vallecano's Spanish defender Alejandro Catena (2L) during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and Rayo Vallecano de Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 24, 2023. Vinicius drew global support after making a stand against racist abuse he received on May 21 from Valencia supporters at their Mestalla stadium. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

Karim Benzema is ready for Real Madrid’s match against Athletic Club at the Santiago Bernabéu this Sunday, which will be the final game of the 2022-23 season. The French striker missed Real Madrid’s last game against Sevilla, due to a cut on his foot that he picked up during Madrid’s last league clash at home to Rayo Vallecano. He finished the game with a goal, but also with five stitches in his foot. But Benzema will be ready for the end of the season and on Thursday morning he trained at Valdebebas at the same pace as the rest of his team-mates.

There is little or nothing at stake now: Barça are already champions, and all that remains to be seen is whether Madrid finish second or are pipped by Atlético. But the match has a special significance, or could have, because Benzema’s future at Real Madrid is by no means assured.

He has the option to extend his contract for one more season after winning the Ballon d’Or, but he has not yet exercised that option and has an offer from Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia that would pay him €200m net over two seasons.

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Benzema behind Cristiano

The Saudi club are convinced they can close the deal for Benzema, but there has not been a conversation between Benzema and Florentino Pérez to lay the cards on the table. That dialogue is likely to take place today. If he leaves, Sunday’s contest would grow in significance as it would be the farewell of the second highest scorer in Madrid’s history, with 353 goals, behind only the 450 of Cristiano Ronaldo, who also plays in Saudi Arabia with Al Nassr.

Mariano to leave

Carlo Ancelotti was able to count on all his players in Valdebebas, with the exception of Mariano Díaz. The striker is still struggling with muscular problems and, if he does not recover, he will miss the last game of the season and what would also be his last as a Madrid player. He has only played 155 minutes this season and played his last game on 13 May, at home to Getafe. He will finish his contract on 30 June and will leave the club after five years.


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