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Real Madrid: Ancelotti offers fitness update on Benzema ahead of El Clasico

Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid
© Ace Football

The French striker has struggled with a persistent hamstring issue in recent months.

Carlo Ancelotti has backed Karim Benzema to help Real Madrid in the second half of the season after shrugging off a long-term fitness issue.

Benzema missed the World Cup with a hamstring issue but has returned to Real Madrid’s lineup in recent weeks. The Frenchman started for the Blancos when they defeated Valencia in the Super Cup semi-finals.

As Real Madrid prepare to take on Barcelona in the final, Ancelotti is delighted with having Benzema back in his squad.

“Benzema is back,” the Italian boss said.

“That gives us a lot of confidence – for the next few games and for this second half of the season. He looks motivated and he’s training well.

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“He’s a very important player for us. I think the team dealt well with his absence in the first half [of the season] and he’ll help us in this second half.”

Real Madrid suffered a shock defeat against Villarreal before their travel to Saudi Arabia for the Super Cup tournament. 

Ancelotti’s men will face the Yellow Submarines again in a Copa del Rey clash after their El Clasico showdown on Sunday.

Having defeated Barcelona 3-1 earlier this season, the Blancos hope to claim their first title of the campaign at King Fahd Stadium.