Benzema ruled out of Madrid derby, Vinicius 'playing with joy' – Ancelotti

By Sports Desk September 17, 2022

Karim Benzema will have to sit out Sunday's derby, Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has announced.

The France international came off with a knee injury in Madrid's Champions League win at Celtic earlier this month and has not featured since.

Ancelotti previously said Benzema could be fit for the derby with Atletico Madrid this weekend, but also noted caution at the time by saying if he did not recover, he would also not be available for the upcoming international break.

With Benzema absent from Didier Deschamps' squad announcement for Les Bleus this week, it seemed unlikely he would feature at the Wanda Metropolitano, which Ancelotti confirmed at his press 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.

Bravo appeared on television show El Chiringuito earlier this week, saying Vinicius had to stop dancing when he celebrated a goal, accusing the Brazilian of "playing the monkey".

Bravo has apologised and said he used the wrong expression, insisting he was sorry for causing offence.

"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," the Madrid boss said.

"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 have won all eight of their games in all competitions this season and will come up against an Atletico side who suffered a Champions League defeat at 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."

Related items

  • Sean Dyche admits points deduction may have psychological effect on Everton Sean Dyche admits points deduction may have psychological effect on Everton

    Everton manager Sean Dyche has admitted the club’s 10-point deduction may have had a psychological effect on his players.

    The Toffees are still awaiting the outcome of their appeal against the punishment they received for breaching the Premier League’s financial regulations last November.

    The sanction has effectively plunged the Merseyside club into a relegation battle and Dyche feels the uncertainty over whether or not they will get any points back could be having an impact.

    Dyche told a number of national newspapers: “It affects everyone – everyone is sitting around waiting and wondering.

    “They take those 10 points off immediately, so you keep looking at that table and you keep getting asked about being in the bottom three, four, five. They don’t leave you up there, so how do we know how that affects the psychology?

    “It changes the perception, it changes the feel, it changes the fan base, it changes the feel of performances. That’s just a fact. We all measure it differently when the team are there, top, middle or bottom.

    “Does that affect the team whilst the process is going? At first everyone says obviously not because you win four, but you could argue there is a delayed effect.”

    Everton’s appeal hearing was held at the end of last month and a verdict is now thought to be imminent but no exact date has been set for when it will be delivered.

    “We haven’t got a clue, or I certainly haven’t at the moment,” said Dyche at a press conference.

    “The guidelines that you (the media) suggest and we suggest have been for around about the end of the month, so we just have to wait and see.

    “I don’t know all the legalities of appeals, of course, but I think it’s in everyone’s interest, firstly our own of course, and for the greater good of football – I think everyone’s wondering – it would be helpful if it’s sooner rather than later.”

    After initially responding well to the points setback, Everton are now without a win in eight Premier League games.

    They are above the relegation zone only on goal difference after a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday.

    Dyche, whose side travel to Brighton on Saturday, has at least been pleased with the attitude of his players throughout a troubled period.

    He said: “I think the players have been working very hard, very diligently. I’m very pleased with what they’re doing on a daily basis. I don’t think it is literally in the way of every day’s business.

    “I’m sure at the back of their minds they’re still wondering, ‘Come on then, when are you going to tell us where we’re at and give us more of a factual kind of view?’, but we’re in the same mindset – it is where it is and that’s it.

    “We look at where it is now and then see what comes. We can’t do anything about it until it’s done.”

  • Haynes high on confidence as young Soca Warriors ready to kick off U-20 Champs against St Vincent and the Grenadines Haynes high on confidence as young Soca Warriors ready to kick off U-20 Champs against St Vincent and the Grenadines

    Trinidad and Tobago Head coach Brian Haynes is exuding confidence that his young Soca Warriors should open their Concacaf under-20 Championship qualifiers account with victory over St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Friday.

    The young Soca Warriors, which recently wrapped up their preparation phase, now has the much-anticipated opportunity to impress both their coach and fans on home soil. They lock horns with St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Group D feature game at 6:00pm, after group favourites Canada meet Dominica in the 3:00pm curtain-raiser.

    With only the group winner to progress to the Championship round where they will join the confederation's top-six ranked teams, United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic, Haynes is well aware that his team has no room for mistakes throughout the campaign.

    "We are preparing for the first game. That is it. Nothing means anything unless we play that first game and do what we have to do to win that game," Haynes told T&T Football Association (TTFA) media.

    "No disrespect to St Vincent or whoever we are going to play, but that is our focus – winning that first game," he added.

    After their opening game against St Vincent and the Grenadines, the young Soca Warriors play Dominica on Sunday, before ending the group assignment against Canada on February 27. All games will be played at the Mucurapo venue.

    Haynes, who included seven overseas-based players in his 21-member squad, admitted to knowing little about their opponents.

    "(We have not been able to get much information on other teams), which is fine. It is really quiet out there. It made me more determined to prepare my team the way we have to play, the tactician shared.

    With 11 of the players being those that represented the twin island republic at last year's Concacaf under-17 championship, there is some cohesion and intensity in Haynes's side, which he believes the overseas-based players have strengthened. The overseas-based players are goalkeeper Ailan Panton, striker Larry Noel, attacking midfielder Derrel Garcia and English-born flanker Rio Cardines, a Crystal Palace youth player.

    "The level of professionalism is one thing, and the level of play is another thing. The body of work these guys bring to the group is awesome," Haynes said.

    "They are not here to be casual. They are here working hard and giving their best. What it has done is lift the level of all the players," he noted.

    Haynes promised possession-oriented football with a purpose, as he underlined the significance of keeping clean sheets in the qualifiers, especially given the quality of his defensive group.

    "(The fans) are going to meet a bunch of players who are very hard-working. Second of all, they are going to meet a bunch of players who play for each other. Thirdly and most importantly, (the fans will see) a team that wants to win and entertain T&T," Haynes ended.

  • Jamaica’s football legends to be honoured at 2024 All-Star Football Tournament Jamaica’s football legends to be honoured at 2024 All-Star Football Tournament

     

    Former national football players Allan ‘Skill’ Cole and Walter ‘Blacka Pearl’ Boyd will be honoured at the inaugural staging of the 2024 All Star Football Tournament, set for Sunday, February 25, 2024 at the Constant Spring Football Field in St. Andrew.

    The winners of the two playoffs will receive trophies named in honour of Cole and Boyd, who represented Jamaica at the highest level on the national and international arena. 

    Both Cole and Boyd will be on-hand to present the trophies to the winning teams. The respective trophies will remain with the team coaches for one year.

    Competition Director Haron Martin said the training sessions have been going well and the players are in high spirits as they look forward to Sunday’s games.

    “The players are excited about the tournament. They are very focused and have been preparing well to represent their teams and showcase their talent,” Martin said.

    “We are also upbeat about the tournament, and we anticipate that the players will get the kind of exposure that they deserve,” he added.

    An All-Prep team will square off against an All-Primary team; while at the Under14 level; the teams will consist of schools north grouped and south grouped of Kingston combined together. They will compete against each other for trophy bragging rights.

    According to Tournament Director, Leighton Davis, the competition will showcase the best youth talents that will prove to be an exciting and entertaining showpiece for the spectators.

    “This tournament is to highlight and reward players who have done well throughout the season. These types of games will help players develop and improve because they are playing against the best of the best,” Davis said.

    Main sponsor for the event is Project 2 Project Consultancy; with MDS Limited, the hydration sponsor and 876 Stream the social media sponsor, Blacktie Images and Insight Studios.

    Gates open at 1:00pm with games being played 2:30pm and 4:00pm respectively.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.