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Benzema labeled 'lazy,' promptly dismissed from team within 24 hours

Posted : 09 November 2023
After a 2-0 loss to Iraqi side Al Quwa Al Jawiya in the Asian Champions League, Al-Ittihad coach Nuno Espritto Santo clashed with French star Karim Benzema during yesterday's players' meeting. Santo reportedly berated Benzema, who won the Ballon d'Or last year and starred for Real Madrid, for being "lazy" and not pressuring opposing players. He also criticized Benzema's leadership and demanded that he set an example for his teammates. This led to an argument in which Benzema reportedly told Santo: "Don't just talk to me, talk to all the players."

Less than 24 hours after this confrontation, Santo was fired. The dismissal was reportedly linked to the incident between the coach and the star player. Several possible replacements have been named, including Julen Lopetegui and Zinedine Zidane. However, if Benzema's words are taken to heart, it is possible that Laurent Blanc could be appointed.

Benzema was recently embroiled in a controversy in France. Eight days after the war broke out in Gaza, following Hamas' offensive in the south, Benzema posted a statement on social media in which he expressed sympathy for the people of Gaza, who he said were "once again victims of unjustified bombings that do not skip women or children." This statement angered many, including French Interior Minister Darmanin, who accused Benzema of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. MP Valerie Boyer also called for the Al-Ittihad striker to be stripped of his French citizenship if the allegations against him are found to be true.


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