Ancelotti decides not to take risks with the Frenchman, who is not in the Cup squad. Rodrygo, Vinicius, Casemiro and Valverde are included in the list of the players.
15 days before the Champions League tie against PSG
The decision, just 15 days before the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against PSG, is more than transcendent. It is vital. That is why the Benzema issue monopolized the last press conference offered by Ancelotti. The question was clear: Is it worth risking with the French? The dilemma was on the coaching staff’s table for days. The player is eager, but Ancelotti doubts. In the end, the coach’s decision prevailed. Karim Benzema will miss the game against Athletic Bilbao.
The Frenchman was left out of the list for Athletic, in which the three Brazilian newcomers did enter, Rodrygo, Vinicius and Casemiro, and the Uruguayan Valverde. Asensio was also able to overcome the injury that had kept him out of recent games and will travel with the rest of the team.
Discomfort for Karim Benzema
Benzema has been dragging for several weeks some discomfort in the left abductor that has forced him to stop twice. The first was in the League match against Real Sociedad, at the beginning of December. The Frenchman noticed something and asked for the change, intelligently, before the ailment worsened. Subsequent examinations determined that there was no muscle rupture, but a strong overload. Enough so that he could not play the Champions League match against Inter that Madrid resolved 2-0. He did come, on the other hand, to risk being a starter against Atlético. He put the derby on track by scoring the first goal and went into the break.