Benitez: Real Madrid are standing by Benzema

Published November 7th, 2015 - 04:44 GMT

Rafael Benitez says Real Madrid are standing by Karim Benzema, but the French striker will not be involved against Sevilla on Sunday because of fitness problems.

Benzema has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail, having been caught up in a scandal surrounding a sex tape involving France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Having returned to training earlier this week, Benitez says the 27-year-old has the support of his team-mates and the club.

However, the Madrid boss added he will not be available the trip to face Unai Emery's men because he has not yet recovered from a hamstring strain.

"Benzema is in the final part of his recovery and we have decided to leave him in Madrid so that he is 100 percent," he told reporters.

"He trained and he did the work that he had to do.

"The biggest concern that I have is how my team is ahead of the Sevilla match."

Regarding the external matters, Benitez continued: "Emotionally [Benzema] is fine, there was a statement from the club which said he has everyone’s support.

"His team-mates are with him and support him. As for the rest, we must wait and see - that is the most sensible thing [to do]."

The Spanish coach is happy to welcome James Rodriguez back into the team, who is ready to return to first team action following his recovery from an injury, and insists star forward Cristiano Ronaldo is happy and in good shape,

"For me, the important thing is that James returns well and that he is fundamental for the rest of the season.

"I have seen a happy team that has trained well, especially today, and a happy, goalscoring Ronaldo.

"Sevilla have a great coach, great supporters and a very complete team. They have experience and quality.

"It's not going to be an easy match, so we must be focused."

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