Karim Benzema did not hide his disappointment after being replaced in Real Madrid’s derby draw with Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
The Frenchman, who has now been substituted in six of his eight appearances under Rafael Benitez in all competitions this season, made way for Mateo Kovacic in the 77th minute at the Vicente Calderon despite heading his team into the lead.
The coach claimed it was a move aimed at providing more energy to his side, but it failed to pay dividends as Luciano Vietto struck the equaliser for Diego Simeone’s men seven minutes from time.
Asked whether he was growing frustrated by not being afforded 90 minutes regularly enough, Benzema said: “Yes, it’s true. I’m a relaxed person and will keep working hard so I’m not the player who gets taken off.
“I was subbed to make the team more defensive given the score.
“It is a question for the coach. I’m on the pitch to help the team.”
Although he has only remained on the field for one full top-flight match this campaign, Benzema leads the scoring charts with six goals.