Karim Benzema missing in Madrid squad to Atalanta
Real Madrid hitman Karim Benzema was conspicuously missing in the squad announced today for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Atalanta in Bergamo.
Zinedine Zidane called up 19 players for Wednesday clash at Bergamo Stadium.
The omission of Benzema indicated that the striker was yet to overcome the injury picked up last week.
He was not in the squad that travelled to Real Valladolid on Saturday.
The Spanish champions narrowly won the game 1-0.
Zidane said Benzema picked up an injury on Thursday last week. He did not attend training on Friday.
The club have not yet confirmed the specifics of the problem.
Madrid coped without Benzema against Valladolid but his absence for the trip to Bergamo, in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday would be a huge blow.
The Frenchman has scored 17 times in all competitions this season and has netted in his last two consecutive matches.
“We know what Karim gives us and how important he is for us,” said Zidane.
“But we have to deal with this and get him back as soon as possible, like the others,” Zidane said last week.
Real Madrid have been plagued by injury problems in recent weeks.
Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo, Eder Militao, Alvaro Odriozola, Fede Valverde and Rodrygo have all been sidelined by injuries.
REAL MADRID SQUAD to Atalanta:
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Lunin and Altube.
Defenders: R. Varane, Nacho, F. Mendy, Chust and Miguel.
Midfielders: Kroos, Modrić, Casemiro, Isco, Arribas and Blanco.
Forwards: Asensio, Lucas V., Vini Jr., Mariano and Hugo Duro.