Madrid relying on injury-hit Benzema for more European glory

Karim Benzema has formed an essential part of Real Madrid’s Champions League success, but there are doubts over whether his team can rely on him to extend their European domination this season.

The French striker’s season has been regularly disrupted by injuries, and although Vinicius Junior is a deadly threat on the left, without Benzema, defences can focus on shutting down the Brazilian winger.

His future at Madrid is also unknown — his contract expires in June and no public decision has been made over a renewal by player or club.

“Legends of this club have to stay at Madrid,” said Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, hoping the forward remains at his disposal next year.

Benzema missed Madrid’s La Liga win over Espanyol on Saturday with an ankle issue but is expected to return to face Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday in a last 16 second leg clash.

The 35-year-old has been sidelined frequently, including with a thigh problem that saw him miss the World Cup with France.

“Something is wrong with Benzema, never in his entire career has he spent so much time in the injury room,” complained Madrid newspaper AS last week, with Benzema out for the eighth time.

The forward has missed 34 percent of Madrid’s games across all competitions this season, 14 matches in total, but has scored 18 in the 27 games he has played.

“These have been months of disappointment and enormous mystery regarding Karim,” continued AS.

– Captain and champion –


Benzema has aged like a fine wine, playing his best football in his later years, freed up from playing on the fringes when Cristiano Ronaldo left Madrid in 2018, and becoming a top-class goalscorer.

Last season Benzema captained Madrid to Champions League glory, with the 1-0 win over Liverpool in the final securing a record 14th triumph.

Benzema was crucial in Madrid’s wild run to Paris, scoring a remarkable 17-minute hat-trick in the last 16 to knock out Paris Saint-Germain.

The forward netted another hat-trick at Stamford Bridge in the quarter-finals to put Chelsea on the ropes and clinched the tie for his team with an extra-time winner in the second leg.

Manchester City suffered the same fate in the semi-finals, with Benzema netting twice at the Etihad in the first leg then slotting home a penalty to send Madrid through to the final, in extra-time again at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Benzema finished as the competition’s top scorer, with 15 goals, and scored 44 in 46 games across all competitions last season, as Madrid lifted the double.

That magic has been sprinkled less liberally this season, although Liverpool had a taste at Anfield in the first leg as Madrid ran out 5-2 winners, with Benzema netting twice, his first goals in this season’s edition.

It was a display of lethal finishing, leaving Jurgen Klopp’s side shell-shocked after they had raced into a two-goal lead.

Benzema‘s brace took the forward to 88 in the Champions League in his career and he will hope to overtake Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski on 91 as the third top scorer of all time in the competition.

Both players are reaching the end of their storied careers and eyes are turning to the future.

With Benzema‘s destiny yet to be decided, PSG’s Champions League exit last week proved an opportunity for some Spanish news outlets to rekindle links with Kylian Mbappe.

“If you want to win the Champions League, you already know…” ran Marca’s front page, next to a picture of the French striker.

Madrid fans are also excited about young prospect Alvaro Rodriguez, although it is too soon to expect the 18-year-old to make significant contributions on the European stage.

The club’s hopes of retaining the trophy this season reside with Benzema, who causes worry each time he suffers a new setback.

Some believe he has been deliberately preserving himself for the team’s biggest matches and the key European dates, and that it has affected his form.

“I see a very motivated Benzema, and I think you will see a different Benzema from now on, in 2023,” said Ancelotti in late December, but so far it has not transpired.

For Madrid to succeed again in Europe and win a fifth Champions League trophy in 10 seasons, getting Benzema back to his best is of the utmost importance.

AM Live

AM Live is NTV's morning current affairs show that sets the agenda for the day with insightful panels every weekday.


Business Redefined

Business Redefined is Kenya’s premier thought leadership platform for unpacking matters regarding economic and finance policy as well demystifying complex developments in the region’s capital markets.


A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Full Episodes

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Gumzo La Sato

Gumzo La Sato is a live social issues show that aims to create awareness about issues affecting the larger society. The discussions range from Parenting, Marital bliss and struggles, Oppression, violence, and all matters of the Heart.

Health Diary

Health Diary is a weekly show that highlights different types of diseases/conditions and seeks ways to prevent, treat/manage them. The show debunks this through real life stories and also feature specialists in different fields, to offer medical advice on the same.

Letter To My Younger Self

Letter To My Younger Self is a podcast where guests get to write a letter to their younger self, from which Maxine formulates questions to ask them during the hour-long show.

Mazao Talks

Mazao looks at agriculture and agribusiness

Nation Reports

Nation Reports is a weekly podcast offers an opportunity for listeners to interact with various reporters and journey with them as they unravel the biggest most emotive stories.

One Health Lens Podcast

Discussing health matters and human stories from Kenya and across Africa. We talk big picture from people to policy, ecosystems, and everything in between. Follow us on LinkedIn:

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost peeks through the story of Louis Otieno, the times, and everything in between.



Speaking of GEN Z

Speaking of Gen Z brings you entertaining but meaningful conversations about a generation that is trying to navigate through adulthood. Join hosts Michelle, Jackie and Esther as they unravel all things Gen Z.

Sport On

Sport-On is a 30-minute sports magazine show on NTV and 3 hours on NATION FM. The show seeks to give the sports “fanatics” and “funatics” comprehensive and in-depth coverage of sports both locally and internationally.


The extent of technological growth is beyond mere acknowledgment; it has seamlessly integrated into our daily existence. A few years ago, the notion of paying electricity bills through mobile money or recharging with 'tokens' in Kenya seemed inconceivable. Online product sales were considered distant, and artificial intelligence is rapidly reshaping various facets of our lives. Amidst these technological leaps, those with a solid understanding of tech can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and build a sustainable livelihood. Tech over Show aims to be the platform facilitating discussions among thought leaders, innovators, tech companies, and the government, addressing challenges and opportunities in Kenya's thriving tech industry.


Thamani is a business show which is dedicated to emerging issues regarding micro, small and medium size businesses.

The Politalk podcast

This is The Politalk podcast. Here we look into the ins and outs of everything Kenyan politics. We pull no punches and have no reason to sugarcoat anything that matters to Kenyans.

The Trend

A two-hour-long live show that airs on Fridays. The show focuses on what is current in the entertainment industry, controversial and popular across all media platforms targeting those aged between 25 and 35 years.

The trend podcast

The trend podcast highlights and captures the best of banter from #TTTT segment that airs every Friday on NTV. It's the TTTT EXTRA

The Wicked Edition

The Wicked Edition with Dr. King’ori seeks to address serious issues through humour and relatable wit. It is a two-part half hour show filmed in front of a live audience


A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula


Twende is a travel show that highlights beautiful, unique, diverse locations, people, and cultures. The show offers fresh perspectives on familiar locations and memorable experiences in new ones.


This Saturday evening lifestyle show lets viewers share their stories and life experiences as openly & honestly for the purpose of shifting the culture of silence.

VIP Access

VIP ACCESS is Anyiko Owoko’s YouTube and podcast show on Music and Culture dedicated to promoting Africa’s most promising talent and creatives. This podcast grants you VIP access into timeless interviews while providing a platform for rising as well as established artists across the continent. Since launching in 2018, Anyiko has interviewed over 70 African music stars.


This weekly news show aims to have all sides of debate but not be constrained by it, listen to main voices in the contest but not allow them to hold the viewers hostage, entertain debate but allow push back with all due respect.

When death do us part

In this podcast, three widowers openly speak about the process of grief, how they found themselves exposed to the emotional turmoil of losing their wives, and how society still does not know how to deal with them.

Your World

Your World is a health, wellness and variety show. It provides a platform for audiences and experts to share their experiences on how to improve or manage health issues, across Kenya and the Africa region.