Karim Benzema may have some explaining to do after footage appeared to show him criticising Real Madrid teammate Vinicius Jr. on Tuesday.
Benzema apparently urged Ferland Mendy to avoid passing to Vinicius at half-time of Real’s clash against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League.
Vinicius had endured a disappointing 45 minutes in which he was wasteful in possession.
“Play it to me,” Benzema apparently told Mendy. “On my mum’s life, he [Vinicius] is playing against us.”
The French striker didn’t pass the ball to Vinicius once in the second half, according to Opta.
The clip at half-time dominated the conversation on social media on Wednesday morning. Check out some of the best reaction.
Benzema has struggled before at Real
Benzema is 32 years old and a leader in the Real Madrid locker room.
You like to think that there’s more to the story than what’s being reported, for Benzema knows what it’s like to struggle in the famous shirt.
Ronaldo was there to pick him up
The striker has endured low moments. The Bernabeu crowd can be hostile and they’ve gotten on Benzema more than once over the years.
But he could count on the support of Cristiano Ronaldo during these moments.
Remember in 2018, when Ronaldo urged the home crowd to stop booing Benzema after he missed a sitter against Real Sociedad?
Just weeks after that incident, the Portuguese forward was seen telling Real fans to applaud Benzema’s assist in a convincing win against Alaves.
In that same game, Ronaldo gave up the chance to complete his hat-trick when Gareth Bale won a penalty. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner gave the ball to Benzema in a brilliant show of support.
A video of all three instances is available below.
Benzema should remember how Ronaldo treated him before he puts anyone down. Not least Vinicius, who only turned 20 a few months ago.
The young attacker wasn’t at his best as Real recovered from 2-0 down to secure a point against Monchengladbach.
Zinedine Zidane replaced Vinicius with 20 minutes remaining after the Brazilian failed to make an impact on the match.
The pressure to perform at Real Madrid is astronomical, Vinicius will know that.
But there's never any benefit to be gained from dragging teammates down.
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