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Jamie Carragher defends Karim Benzema for criticism of teammate

Carragher Benzema

Benzema came under fire for this.

Jamie Carragher has come to the defence of Karim Benzema after the 32-year-old was caught on camera telling Real Madrid teammate Ferland Mendy not to pass the ball to Vinícius Júnior.

Carragher Benzema

The incident occurred at half-time during Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Zinedine Zidane’s side found themselves 2-0 down at half-time but were able to muster a response in the second half to draw the game thanks to goals from Benzema and Casemiro.

During the break, footage revealed Benzema telling Mendy not to pass the ball to Vinicius.

Carragher Benzema

“Don’t play with him,” Benzema told Mendy.

“On my mother’s life, he [Vinicius] is playing against us.”

Benzema came under fire for those comments on social media but Carragher, who was on punditry duty for CBS Sports, can see where the Frenchman was coming from.

Carragher on Benzema: “That is something I have said before.”

“As a club Real Madrid, it is not one of those things where if it lands on the manager’s doorstep that’s like ‘oh you don’t need that type of thing’,” Carragher began.

“But in terms of what Benzema did, that is something I have said before, and if I have said it about someone else I can guarantee someone has said it about me. He has just been caught saying it.

“Now there are two sides to it. I think there is one where you think you are helping the team, which I think is the case with Benzema.

“If someone is having a really poor game, you are almost having a go at the guy who is maybe behind him, maybe it’s a full back and there’s a winger in front and you’re saying, ‘use your brain, he’s not having the best of games, look for someone else’.”

Carragher continued:

“Ok, if it’s there and it’s obvious, give him the ball but if he’s not, play somewhere else, give him a touch, help him. He probably doesn’t want the ball, he was having a really poor game.

“There’s a flip side to it, with Benzema and Vinicius being attacking players. If Benzema was doing that from a selfish point of view, in terms of. ‘don’t pass to him just pass to me, I want to score’, something like that wouldn’t be right if that was happening within a team or squad.

“But in terms of someone having a poor game, that is something I have said numerous times, maybe at half-time, maybe at a training session. You say to your goalkeeper when he is throwing the ball out ‘go to the other side, he is struggling and having a tough time, go to the right-back or left-back’.

“It is not something that doesn’t happen, he has just been caught.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter