Real Madrid have left Karim Benzema out of their squad for Sunday’s trip to Sevilla. The French international was this week held in police custody and placed under formal investigation over his involvement in an alleged blackmail plot against France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
He returned to training with his Real Madrid teammates on Friday and took part in another session on Saturday morning.
However, Los Blancos boss Rafa Benitez has decided not to take the 28-year-old – who has been struggling with injury recently – to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan for the clash with Unai Emery’s Europa League holders.
“He is in the final stage of his recovery and we have decided to leave him here,” said Benitez. “Emotionally he’s fine but as he’s not travelling with us I can’t say much more. The club has issued a statement which we all adhere to.”He is training, he’s doing the job he’s supposed to do and it’s a personal matter.”I support Karim completely and I hope he recovers. I’m talking from the sporting perspective. He’s still a little way off and we preferred not to include him in the squad.
Gareth Bale however has been included by Benitez, as he looks to prove his fitness ahead of El Clasico.Bale, rested by Chris Coleman for Wales upcoming clash with Holland, is likely to start as a substitute but Benitez is hoping to give the Welshman some action.“We have to finalise the squad list but Bale has been included. We’ll have to see how much he plays but he may get on the pitch.”
French international was this week also left out of the France squad for their upcoming friendly with England.