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Benzema: “I don’t yet know if I’ll be able to play, but I’ve done all I can to be here”

The striker spoke about how he is feeling after his recent injury.

FBL-EUR-C1-REAL MADRID-PRESSER Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League first leg away at Paris Saint-Germain, Karim Benzema appeared in the pre-match press conference and provided an update on his physical condition, after missing the past three fixtures with a hamstring injury. He wouldn’t confirm whether or not he’d play in the game, explaining: “I have been working very hard and I feel a lot better. We will have a training session tonight and we’ll see if I can play tomorrow. We’ll see how I feel when I’m on the pitch in tonight’s session. I have been working in the mornings, afternoons and evenings in order to try to get back to play. I want to help my team in this huge match.”

The striker reiterated his desire to make it into Tuesday’s starting line-up, but also dismissed the suggestion that there is Benzema-dependence at Real Madrid. He added: “I don’t think there is over-dependence on me. The team has won matches without me too. I have done all I can to be here and I hope to be at 100 percent to play tomorrow. If I have to force it then I will force it for me team, but I’m also not going to play if I’m likely to get injured straight away again. We don’t want to take those risks, since it’s a long season.”

This will be a different kind of Champions League tie because the away goal rules no longer applies and Benzema was asked if that changes Los Blancos’ approach to the first leg on the road. He said: “For me, it doesn’t change anything. We want to have a good match and win. There are no favourites in modern football. Looking player to player, it’s equal, so maybe whichever team wants it more will win.”

Benzema on Mbappé’s future

It was no surprise to see Benzema asked about Kylian Mbappé during the press conference. Questioned about his France teammate and whether he thinks the young forward will move to the Bernabéu, Benzema said: “Playing against Kylian is special because we’re international teammates. Everybody knows that one day he could play for Real Madrid, but the most important thing for me is playing this match and winning it.”

Benzema on Neymar’s potential return from injury

Like Benzema, Neymar could make a return from injury in this match. Asked how this would change things, the Real Madrid man said: “Neymar is a top player. I don’t know if he’s 100 percent right now. One player doesn’t make a team, but it’s better for them if he plays.”

Benzema on Messi’s adaptation to Ligue 1

Benzema has faced Lionel Messi many times in Clásicos, but now the Argentine is taking on Real Madrid as a PSG player. On his gradual adaptation to Ligue 1, Benzema said: “He’s extraordinary. Maybe people expected more goals from him, but when you look at what he’s doing on the pitch you can’t dispute what he’s doing. I have played him many times when was with Barcelona. Now, we’ll see tomorrow again.”

Benzema on finishing his career in Ligue 1

The centre-forward has been at Real Madrid since his 2009 switch from Lyon. Asked if he’d like to finish his career back in French football, Benzema responded: “For now, I’m focused on Real Madrid. It’s a bit soon to say I’d finish my career in Ligue 1. Right now, I am at the best club in the world.”