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Benzema: I Want To Rewrite Real Madrid History

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema believes his performances are misunderstood as he vowed to continue to “rewrite the history books”.

Benzema scored his 200th and 201st goals for Madrid with a brace in his team’s 5-0 thrashing of Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The much-maligned Frenchman now has nine goals in 17 games this season, including three in the Champions League.

Benzema feels his efforts are sometimes misunderstood, saying he wanted to continue contributing in several ways for Madrid.

“I play football to rewrite the history books and sometimes people don’t understand what I do out on the pitch,” he said, via the club’s website.

Champions League Permutations: Who Needs What?

After four rounds of Champions League football, only one club, Barcelona, are officially through to the knockout stages. Here is a look at what other teams could possible be joining the La Liga Champions in the knockout stages:

Group E: AEK Athens (0 points) v Ajax (8) [18:55CET], Bayern München (10) v Benfica (4)

  • Bayern will be through if they draw and will clinch first place if they win and Ajax do not.
  • Ajax will be through with a victory or if Benfica fail to win.
  • Benfica must win to maintain a chance of a top-two finish.

Olivier Giroud ended his drought by scoring the only goal to lead Chelsea to a 1-0 win at BATE Borisov on Thursday that clinched a place in the knockout stage of the Europa League with two group games to spare.

Giroud had not scored for Chelsea for six months but he knows what it’s like to net against BATE. Last season, the France forward was on target in both games against the Belarusian champion when he played for London rival Arsenal in Europe’s second tier competition.

Coutinho Out For Three Weeks

Barcelona have announced that Philippe Coutinho is to be sidelined for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury.

The Brazil international will be forced to sit out upcoming fixtures for club and country after damaging the femoral biceps in his left leg.

He was able to play a full part for Barca in their most recent outing, against Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Coutinho completed 90 minutes at San Siro, providing the assist for Malcom’s effort in a 1-1 draw in Milan.

He is, however, set to miss the rest of the month after picking up an untimely knock.

Solari Hesitant To Discuss Real Madrid Future

Real Madrid caretaker coach Santiago Solari refused to be drawn on his future, saying his focus was simply on his team’s next game.

Solari made it three wins in a row since taking charge as Madrid thrashed Viktoria Plzen 5-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

While he remains in a caretaker capacity at the helm, Solari was unwilling to be drawn into discussing his future.

“I can only think about the next game. Like I said before, I can only see the next link in the chain. I don’t think that’s wrong,” he told a news conference.

Manchester City and Paris St-Germain “are cheating and should be sanctioned”, according to La Liga following financial conduct allegations.

German news magazine Der Spiegel says City and PSG overvalued sponsorship deals to help meet Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

And it says that in 2014 the clubs negotiated with Fifa president Gianni Infantino, who was then general secretary of European football’s governing body Uefa, to agree reduced punishments.

City say they will not be commenting on the claims and that the attempt to damage their reputation is “organized and clear”.

Leonardo Jardim is under consideration by Real Madrid to be their next permanent first team coach.

Jardim won the 2016-17 Ligue 1 title with Monaco and also guided them to that season’s Champions League semifinals, but was relieved of his duties last month after a poor start to the 2018-19 campaign.

Madrid are still looking for a permanent replacement for Julen Lopetegui, who was manager for 14 games at the Bernabeu. His 139 days in charge came to an end following the 5-1 Clasico defeat at Barcelona.

Two Spanish sides, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona, along wth Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Ajax, Bayern Münich, Manchester City and Juventus, could all book their UEFA Champions League round of 16 places with two games to spare on matchday four.

Group A: Monaco (1 point) v Club Brugge (1), Atlético Madrid (6) v Borussia Dortmund (9)

  • Dortmund will be through as group winners with victory.
  • Atlético will be through with a win if the other game is drawn.
  • Monaco will be unable to finish in the top two if they fail to win and Atlético gain victory.

According to recently acquired emails from Football Leaks, 16 of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich have been negotiating to form a Super League.

This idea had been floated in the open before, but according to the trans-national investigation resulting from hacked emails obtained by Der Spiegel, there were and above all still are concrete steps taken to make it a reality.

The clubs allegedly involved on the ground floor in this Super League plot starting in January 2016 were Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Chelsea, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Liverpool and Milan.

La Liga are launching a campaign hoping to show that American fans are behind its plan to host a regular-season game in the United States.

The league and its US partners on Thursday began asking fans to sign an online petition to show their support for the planned Barcelona-Girona game near Miami in January.

‘In an effort to showcase the public support to bring this match to the US, we are launching a petition campaign to encourage US soccer fans to make their voices heard,’ the league and sports and entertainment group Relevent said in a statement. ‘The #BringUStheGame campaign will show the sports world that this match is good for the fans and good for the game in America, and that US Soccer risks alienating millions of fans if they choose to block this game.’