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Benzema fully focused on comeback – Zidane

Zinedine Zidane says Karim Benzema is fully focused on returning to action against Sevilla despite a difficult week for the Real Madrid striker.

Benzema was reported to have been summoned as a witness as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering, in relation to a business in which he had invested.

The 28-year-old was also left out of the France squad for this month’s friendly matches despite returning to full training after recovering from a thigh problem.

But Madrid boss Zidane, who is expected to hand Benzema his first appearance since February 27 when his side meet Sevilla on Sunday, has few concerns about the striker’s mindset.

“Benzema is okay. He’s focused, in spite of the difficulty of his case. He looks good physically, too,” said Zidane.

“I don’t know if it’s fair or unfair. The only thing I want is that the player concentrates on playing football and thinks about the game tomorrow. I’ve spoken to him and that’s the best thing.

“We have 22, 23 players. I’m always going to put out the best 11, thinking game by game. Being able to choose everyone is positive for a coach.”

Zidane admitted last week that he could not offer any assurances over his future after some inconsistent results since he replaced Rafael Benitez as head coach in January.

However, despite speculation over his position growing as the season enters its closing stages, the former midfielder insists he wants to stay in the role.

“Pressure is guaranteed when you coach the best team in the world. But it’s what I like,” he said.

“I’m happy because it helps me to improve day by day. I learn the same as my players. I hope to be here for a long time.

“Sevilla are a very strong team. They have very good players and it’s going to be a very difficult game.”

Zidane also denied that Madrid have been given an easy draw in the Champions League quarter-finals, in which they will face Wolfsburg.

“They’re in the quarter-finals for a reason. We have to think about La Liga and, when it comes, prepare for the Champions League game.”

Sat 19 Mar, 2016
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