Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has stated that Karim Benzema would be forced to sit out of the derby on Sunday.
The France international left the Champions League victory against Celtic earlier this month after suffering a knee injury, and he hasn’t played since.
Benzema may be ready for this weekend’s derby match against Atletico Madrid.
Although Ancelotti earlier cautioned that if he did not recover, he would also miss the forthcoming international break.
It seems doubtful that Benzema would play at the Wanda Metropolitano given his absence from Didier Deschamps’ announcement of the Les Bleus team this week. Ancelotti confirmed this at his news conference on Saturday, saying:
“I’m not saying [who will play up front]. Benzema won’t be there.
“He has started working individually and will be ready after the [international] break.”
Ancelotti also spoke about the recent controversial comments from Pedro Bravo, a senior agent in Spain, on Vinicius Junior.
Earlier this week, Bravo said Vinicius had to quit dancing after scoring a goal and accused the Brazilian of “playing the monkey” on the television program El Chiringuito.
Bravo expressed regret for offending anyone and apologized, admitting he used the incorrect idiom.
The Madrid boss said:
“It’s something that we don’t touch on in the locker room.
“These are issues that are not normally discussed in the locker room, we usually talk about football.
“Racism is one thing, and what happens in football is another thing. We have not touched on this issue of racism because the player has responded very well.”
When asked if he had spoken to the player about it, Ancelotti said: “No, because I’m not his father, nor am I his brother. I’m his coach.
“Nothing is wrong with him. He is playing with joy. Vini is joy, happiness.”
Madrid has won all eight of their games this season in all competitions, and they will face an Atletico team that lost in the Champions League to Bayer Leverkusen in midweek.
Ancelotti is not underestimating Madrid’s local rivals, though.
“It will be a competitive match. They don’t expect anything new and it will be a very competitive duel, a good football match, because there are very good players on both teams,” Ancelotti said. “The match is open, but there is nothing definitive.”
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