Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Benitez backs Benzema as a player and as a person

01 December 2015, 16:40

Madrid - Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez has restated his support for French striker Karim Benzema amid increasing criticism of Benzema's off-field behaviour in his homeland.

Benzema has been charged in France for his alleged participation in a blackmail case involving international teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex-tape.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls added his voice to the debate on Tuesday by claiming sportsmen who don't behave in an "exemplary" manner shouldn't play for the national team.

However, Madrid have insisted they will stick by Benzema and Benitez insisted the 27-year-old remains a key player despite not starting either of Real's last two outings.

Also read: 'No animosity' from Valbuena towards Benzema - lawyer

"I consider him a fundamental player for us. On a personal level I have said before that he is a great guy and he has our support," Benitez said on Tuesday.

"He is a key player for us because he is a reference up front and makes those around him play even better."

Benzema started Madrid's humiliating 4-0 defeat at home to Barcelona 10 days ago after a six-week absence due to a hamstring injury, but was only introduced as a late substitute in wins away at Shakhtar Donetsk and Eibar in the past week.

"He is very important for us. He had a long time out with injury and we have to manage his minutes the best way possible."

Benzema is therefore likely to feature as Madrid get their Copa del Rey campaign underway away at Cadiz on Wednesday, especially as Benitez admitted Cristiano Ronaldo will be rested for the first time this season.

Benitez is in need of a big performance after two unconvincing displays despite bouncing back from the Barcelona debacle with two consecutive wins.

However, he insisted that winning rather than beautiful football is the most important way to make amends with the fans.

"First we have to define what is beautiful and good football," he added.

"In principle, what Madrid have to do is respect Cadiz, who are an historic team in Spanish football, and respect such a difficult and dangerous competition as the Copa del Rey.

"We need to prepare for the game with good concentration, with desire, give our best, which is what Real Madrid fans always demand, and on top of that play as well as possible and win."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...