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Benitez on the defensive following Blanc comments

Rafael Benitez has again defended himself and Real Madrid from accusations of being overly defensive, stating his titles speak volumes about his qualities as a coach.

In the absence of James Rodriguez (thigh), Gareth Bale (calf) and Karim Benzema (hamstring), Madrid ground out a 0-0 draw against Paris Saint-Germain in midweek ahead of Sunday’s top-of-the-table La Liga clash against Celta Vigo.

PSG boss Laurent Blanc suggested Madrid were defensive in their approach – an accusation echoed by some in the Spanish capital this term with Benitez’s men conceding just twice all season.

Benitez – a Champions League, Europa League and two-time La Liga winner – said on Friday: “I have been in football for many years and unfortunately part of what is made in press conferences seems to have more impact than what happens in games. 

“For Madridistas, watching a match with intensity and determination – that is the greatest joy

“My career has a number of records and titles achieved, regardless of what they want to say. I do not care how I am labeled.

“The important thing is the team, to built on a base of good results and feelings is the most positive.

“The Madridistas are concerned about what happens on the pitch, not by what is said.”

Benzema could return for the trip to Balaidos, while Luka Modric is likely to push for a starting spot after making a substitute appearance in Paris following a groin problem.

“Now we have training, we will see how the players who are on the edge evolve,” Benitez added.

“[With Benzema] it’s a very close thing. He did some work yesterday, but we will have to wait and see how he is after training today.

“Modric is fine, he trained, he played, so we are more optimistic on him.

“Until we train we cannot know for sure how the players are. I am happy with the work of the medical department.”

Fri 23 Oct, 2015
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