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Karim Benzema has been slammed by a Real Madrid legend for allegedly missing games on purpose in the build-up to the World Cup.

The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner was instrumental to Madrid’s La Liga and Champions League double last season, but he’s struggled for fitness this term.

Benzema’s already missed eight games through injury, not featuring in Los Blancos’ last three with bitter rivals Barcelona leapfrogging them in the table.

Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has maintained Benzema’s been injured during that time. One former midfielder doesn’t believe it.

During an appearance on El Chiringuito per MadridXtra, Guti laid into his former teammate for ‘letting his club down’ ahead of the World Cup starting later this month.

He then named Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski as two players still playing for Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. Worth noting, Guti’s comments came before Lewandowski was sent off in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Osasuna on Tuesday night.

“Benzema’s situation? I don’t understand him,” Guti declared. “[Lionel] Messi is playing with PSG, [Robert] Lewandowski is playing with Barcelona and so many other players. You have to accept the risk of injuries before the World Cup, you can’t let your club down.”

Benzema has missed chunks of this season through injury. (Image Credit: Alamy)Benzema returned to the France national team in 2021 following an extended period of absence. The 34-year-old has operated as Madrid’s focal point since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure in 2018.

Mariano Diaz and Luka Jovic joined as understudies, but failed to meet expectations. Academy graduate Borja Mayoral moved to Getafe permanently during the summer.

Guti continued: “We all knew this could happen, I don’t understand how Madrid doesn’t have a replacement.”

Benzema is back in France manager Didier Deschamps’ plans. (Image Credit: Alamy)France are in Group D in Qatar alongside Denmark, Australia and Tunisia.

Didier Deschamps is set to announce his squad later on Wednesday. Midfielders N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba, influential in Les Bleus’ 2018 World Cup triumph, will be omissions due to injury.

Kante hasn’t featured for Chelsea since August, while Pogba is yet to make his second competitive debut from Juventus.