MADRID (AFP) – Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti said if the injured Karim Benzema is unable to play in next week’s La Liga derby against Atletico Madrid it will rule the star striker out of contention for France’s Nations League World Cup warm up games.
Benzema, hot favourite to pick up next month’s Ballon d’Or, suffered a right thigh injury in Tuesday’s 3-0 Champions League win at Celtic.
And Ancelotti said on Saturday, “Karim? We’ll see if he can make the derby. What’s certain is that if he doesn’t play the derby he won’t be joining his national team.”
World Cup winners France continue the preparations for the defence of their 2018 crown against Austria on September 22 and Denmark three days later.
Ancelotti added of the French forward, “These are the sort of things that can happen. There’s a minor issue, but last year too he had a physical problem in December and we were able to deal with it.
“This year, it’ll be the same thing.”