Benzema: ‘Zidane will stay at Real Madrid, you’ll see’

Paul Macdonald
Benzema: ‘Zidane will stay at Real Madrid, you’ll see’

Karim Benzema has refuted suggestions that Zinedine Zidane could leave Real Madrid this summer.

It has been widely reported that Zidane could walk away from the Madrid dugout for a second time after failing to lift either the Champions League or La Liga trophies this season.

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But Benzema, who enjoyed a positive season on a personal level by scoring over 20 league goals for the third campaign running, believes he will be in charge of Los Blancos next season.

“So far, he’s still Real Madrid coach, isn’t he? I don’t see him leaving,” Benzema told L’Equipe.

“He’s not going to leave, you’ll see. If he leaves, he leaves, but for now, I don’t see Real without Zidane.”

The striker, who received a shock call up to the France squad for Euro 2020 this summer despite not previously playing internationally for six years, lavished Zidane with praise, calling him his “big brother”.

“Zizou, with me, has always been sincere,” he continued.

“Close and very sincere. When it’s okay, he tells me, but when it’s not okay, he tells me too! Always, in training, in match, he gets to the point. That’s why I respect him a lot, he’s always very direct with me.

“He gives me a lot of confidence on the pitch. He’s my trainer, but he’s like my big brother. He’s always been supportive of me, whether I’m good or not, and he’s been constantly improving me every year.”

Could Zidane walk away?

He has done it once, so could very easily do it again. When he departed in 2018, he did so with Madrid as European champions, only to return a few months later.

Zidane added another league title to their club’s collection in 2019/20 but hasn’t found the same consistency this season, with a rebuild somewhat underway in the Spanish capital.

Florentino Perez, the president, has not previously taken kindly to failure to win titles in a season. But the reports have suggested Zidane himself is driving the speculation over his future.

Another of his former clubs, Juventus, could be on the lookout for a new coach this summer despite Andrea Pirlo guiding the Bianconeri into the Champions League with victory over Bologna on the final day of Serie A last week.