If there is one problem that has plagued Real Madrid almost all season, it is the absence, or in some cases lack of fitness of Karim Benzema.
Without a trusted back-up, Benzema’s absence, already a gaping hole for any team, is even more accentuated. The French striker has been battling fitnes issues all season and arguably hasn’t been 100% match sharp all season.
It looked as if he had put those issues towards the back of his mind in January after returning to the team, but once again Benzema missed games against Real Mallorca (1-0 loss) and Al Ahly (4-1 win) with a muscular issue, before returning to action against Al Hilal on Saturday.
Relevo say that Benzema himself had inspired a change of plans regarding his fitness in the lead up to his injury. Having played the entirety of the minutes available in a run of 6 matches in 19 days from the 7th of January, including two extra times, Los Blancos had planned to rest Benzema against Real Sociedad.
They would have introduced him as a substitute, but being a crucial game and feeling good, Benzema told Carlo Ancelotti he felt fit enough to start. A 0-0 draw and 90 minutes of Benzema later, Benzema would then wait four days before once again starting against Valencia. There he broke down again after an hour with another muscle issue.
While it might have happened regardless, the lack management of his fitness does look a little foolhardy, given how crucial he is to Real Madrid. If Los Blancos are to have any hope of winning more silverware this season, it rests in part on a fit Benzema. Without him, Real Madrid lose their reference point, Vinicius Junior loses a the forward he works best with and of course, his goals go missing too.