Real Madrid have confirmed striker Karim Benzema has tested positive for Covid-19, ruling him out of their friendly clash with Rangers at Ibrox this weekend.
Benzema recently returned for pre-season training after participating in Euro 2020, where France’s dreams of adding a European Championship to their World Cup was brought to a crashing halt by Switzerland in the round of 16.
It was a blow to the striker, but for Real, it meant having him back in the squad nice and early for pre-season. He had been expected to play some part against Rangers, where Carlo Ancelotti is expected to field a strong team for the glamour friendly.
But Real have confirmed that Benzema has tested positive for Covid, and will now have to isolate while his teammates travel to the UK.
A succinct statement on their website reads: “Real Madrid CF communicates that our player Karim Benzema has tested positive for COVID-19.”
All going to plan, Los Blancos should have Benzema back for their friendly with AC Milan on 8 August.
Real haven’t specified whether Benzema has been in close contact with any other players, so as things stand he is the only player being forced to isolate.
But it still comes as a major blow to Ancelotti as he looks to get his squad in shape for another tilt at La Liga’s title this season. He was one of their main protagonists in 2020/21, but even his 30 goals in all competitions were unable to get Real over the line in the title race as they yielded the trophy to city rivals Atletico.
Benzema has netted 25 or more goals in each of the last three seasons and will play a central role once he’s back in the squad.