Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has tested positive for Covid-19, the Spanish club announced on Friday without providing further details.
ALSO READ: Alaba takes Sergio Ramos’ shirt number at Real Madrid
Since joining Real in 2009, the 33-year-old Frenchman has scored nearly 300 goals for the Madrid club. He was also a member of the France squad at the recent Euro 2020.
“Real Madrid announce that our player Karim Benzema has tested positive for Covid-19,” the club said in a one-line statement.
Several Real Madrid players were infected during the season just ended, including ex-captain Sergio Ramos, who has since left for Paris Saint-Germain, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Eden Hazard and Dani Carjaval.
Club president Florentino Perez and former coach Zinedine Zidane were also infected.
The announcement of Benzema’s contamination comes as cases have risen sharply in seveeral countries, including Spain and France, due to the Delta variant.
Meanwhile, David Alaba has taken the shirt number worn by departed Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos because, he said on Wednesday, the club told him it was the only one available.
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Austria’s Alaba, who can play in defence or midfield, was unveiled by Real wearing the number four worn for 16 seasons by Ramos.
“It’s a number that is a great motivation for me and one I want to honour,” Alaba said, adding Real told him four “was the only number available”.
“Ramos wore that number and became a leader. It’s something that’s in everyone’s head,” said Alaba.
“I want to be David Alaba,” he added.