Real Madrid were back in action for the first time since their break for the World Cup in a warm-up friendly behind closed doors with Leganes. The presence of Karim Benzema was the headline event, as he returned from injury.
The French forward has struggled with injury all season and was forced to pull out of the World Cup just days before he was due to take to the pitch.
After spending the last few weeks recovering, Benzema was back in action for 30 minutes against Leganes. A depleted XI, featuring only Benzema, David Alaba and Toni Kroos from Los Blancos’ regular starting team drew 1-1 in an hour-long game consisting of two halves of 30. Benzema was taken off at half-time, while Kroos was responsible for the Real Madrid goal, as per Relevo. No doubt there will be an element of the bittersweet for Benzema, having watched his France colleagues get through to the World Cup final on Wednesday night.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) December 15, 2022
Finding a way to keep Benzema fit for the second half of the season will be crucial to Real Madrid’s hopes of competing for titles. Although the likes of Rodrygo Goes, Vinicius Junior and Fede Valverde have stepped up in his absence, none of the three can replace the impact of the Ballon d’Or winner.