Ancelotti: Benzema the complete player

By Sports Desk August 14, 2021

Carlo Ancelotti described Karim Benzema as the "complete player" after he inspired a 4-1 victory at Alaves in Real Madrid's first game of the LaLiga season.

Benzema scored twice either side of a volley from Nacho, before Vinícius Junior headed in the last of four second-half goals for Madrid in their first competitive game since Ancelotti returned to the club.

Joselu had made it 3-1 from the penalty spot just after Benzema's second goal, but Los Blancos made an impressive start to their bid to regain the title.

Benzema has scored 17 LaLiga goals this year, a tally only bettered by Lionel Messi (23), and he appeared to thrive on wearing the captain's armband with Sergio Ramos having joined Paris Saint-Germain.

Madrid boss Ancelotti feels the France striker has matured into a magnificent all-rounder player.

He said: "Benzema is the completion of the team, reading the situations of the match very well. He is a player I think is not enough to call a forward.

"He is a very complete player. Now he is more complete than five years ago."

Gareth Bale started his first game in the Spanish top flight since June 2020 after a loan spell with Tottenham last season, while Eden Hazard caused Alaves problems after he was also named in the side.

Bale scored in the 2014 Champions League final victory over Atletico Madrid during Ancelotti's first spell at Madrid, but fell out of favour under Zinedine Zidane and there appeared to be no way back for him after he famously held up a 'Wales, golf, Madrid' flag.

Ancelotti is unsure whether the Wales captain has more desire to play for the club now, but says the forward has plenty to offer.

"I do not know if he is more committed than other years, because I was not there," he said. "Bale is going to improve because his condition is not optimal yet, like everyone else's. Everyone can improve."

Madrid have not been beaten in their opening game of a LaLiga campaign since 2008, winning nine and drawing four of their first games since then.

Related items

  • Reggae Girlz booked to face South Korea in September friendly Reggae Girlz booked to face South Korea in September friendly

    Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz have been booked to tackle top Asian team South Korea, in a friendly international at the Hwaseong Sports Complex, in South Korea, on September 3rd.

    The match, which will be a first-ever meeting between the two teams, will also be the first for the Jamaica national team since successfully qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup last month.  The team was doing so for the second straight tournament.

    South Korea, who are the number 18th ranked team in the world, will pose a stern test for the Jamaicans who recently achieved a high of 42.  The South Koreans have also put together strong performances in 2022 after finishing second at the AFC Women's Asian Cup.

    With the match occurring on a FIFA International match date, both teams are expected to have their full complement of players available for selection.

  • Brighton sign Estupinan from Villarreal as Cucurella replacement on five-year deal Brighton sign Estupinan from Villarreal as Cucurella replacement on five-year deal

    Brighton and Hove Albion have completed the signing of defender Pervis Estupinan from LaLiga side Villarreal.

    The Ecuador international arrives for an undisclosed fee reported to be worth £14million (€16.7m) and has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at the Amex Stadium.

    The 24-year-old will add plenty of experience to the Seagulls' back line, having won the Europa League with Villarreal in 2021, while also featuring for Granada, Almeria, Real Mallorca and Osasuna in Spain.

    Signing a new left-back had been a priority following the sale of Marc Cucurella to Chelsea, and head coach Graham Potter is thrilled by the arrival of Estupinan, who racked up 74 appearances during his two-year spell at El Madrigal.

    "We're excited by what Pervis brings us, and he fills a position to which we've been looking to add depth," he told the club's official website.

    "In addition to his international experience, he has played for Villarreal in the Champions League and Europa League, as well as gaining plenty of experience in LaLiga.

    "We will help him to settle here in England, but we're looking forward to working with him and seeing him in action in the Premier League."

    Estupinan could make his Brighton debut when the Seagulls face West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday.

  • 'It won't happen again' - Liverpool striker Nunez apologises after Palace red card 'It won't happen again' - Liverpool striker Nunez apologises after Palace red card

    Darwin Nunez has issued an apology following his red card during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at Anfield.

    The Uruguay international, who arrived from Benfica for a reported £64million (€75m), endured a frustrating home debut for the Reds, which culminated in an early bath after a headbutt on Palace defender Joachim Andersen.

    Nunez had registered five shots - none of which were on target - when he reacted after a sustained period of provocation from Andersen just before the hour mark, throwing his head into the face of the centre-half.

    The striker became only the second Liverpool player to be dismissed on his first home Premier League appearance; exactly 12 years after Joe Cole was given his marching orders in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal.

    Nunez has since taken to Twitter to express his remorse over the incident, posting: "I am aware of the ugly attitude I had. I'm here to learn from my mistakes and it won't happen again. Apologies to Liverpool. I'll be back."

    The 23-year-old will now miss Liverpool's mouth-watering showdown with Manchester United at Old Trafford next Monday, as well as back-to-back home games against Bournemouth and Newcastle United.

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.