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    He´s ´very motivated´ – Ancelotti warns of a different Benzema in 2023

    Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has warned that Karim Benzema will be even better in 2023 after bouncing the Ballon d’Or winner in a 2-0 win over Real Valladolid on Friday.

    Benzema missed the 2022 World Cup as France finished in second place due to a quadriceps injury sustained on the eve of the tournament. He has since announced his international retirement.

    The 35-year-old forward shrugged off that disappointment in Madrid’s first game since the resumption of La Liga, scoring a penalty in the 83rd minute and doubling it six minutes later.

    “I see Benzema very motivated and I think you will see another Benzema in 2023,” Ancelotti told DAZN.

    In calendar year 2022, Benzema has scored more goals in all competitions than any other La Liga player with 40.

    Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 games for Los Blancos last season, but this time the season was cut short by injury and he scored eight goals in 13 games.

    Of his team’s performance, Ancelotti told LaLigaTV: “There is a lot of good news from this game.

    “Result first, Thibaut’s performance [Courtois], Karim’s two goals. We ended this year, it was an amazing year, in the best possible way.

    “It was really difficult. We started well, then there were difficulties, we had a good first half, we performed well at the end of the game. It’s quite normal when you come back from a long vacation, it’s not easy.”

    Madrid had a strong presence in the World Cup and Ancelotti admitted that mid-season reintegration proved difficult.

    “We have players with different conditions,” said the Italian. “Several players arrived yesterday.

    “True, they also did not have their break, only 10 days. Not much time to get them all in good condition. We have to work on it.”

    Eduardo Camavinga, who only played twice for Les Bleus in Qatar 2022, earned praise from Ancelotti for his influence as a substitute, with an assist to Benzema’s sealer.

    “He has shown it since he arrived,” Ancelotti said. “He matters when he enters the game because he has a lot of energy. He is an important player for us.”

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