Benzema out with muscle fatigue, shows Ballon d’Or to fans

MADRID (AP) — Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema did not play for Real Madrid in Saturday’s home game against Sevilla in the Spanish league because of muscle fatigue.

Real Madrid announced the news before kickoff but did not say how long Benzema will be out.

Benzema was at the Santiago Bernabéu to receive his Ballon d’Or award before the game. Dressed in black, Benzema received the award from former Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane and current teammate Luka Modric — both previous winners of the award — before he lifted it up and Madrid’s fans applauded.

The 34-year-old Benzema won the prestigious award on Monday after leading Madrid to the Champions League and Spanish league titles last season. Two days later he played the full 90 minutes in Madrid’s 3-0 win at Elche, scoring a goal.

Madrid visits Leipzig on Tuesday in the Champions League but has already locked up its place in the knockout stage.

Benzema is expected to play for France in next month’s World Cup in Qatar.

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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