The flying winger staked his claim for a starting role after scoring twice in Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Las Palmas on Saturday.
Messi had began the game on the bench due to continued muscle discomfort which caused him to miss Argentina’s friendlies against Italy and Spain and the league’s top scorer was called into action in the 58th minute, replacing Ousmane Dembele.
Wales coach Ryan Giggs considers Gareth Bale to be among the elite players just below the level of superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
If Madrid were to make a move, they would likely offer the likes of Marcos Llorente, Acgraf, DAni Ceballos or Borja Mayoral in a swap.
With a massive Champions League quarterfinal showdown midweek against Juventus, the Spanish giants sensibly opted to take out a few of their stalwarts in Luka Modric and Casemiro for the crunch clash. In his pre-match press conference he said, “He’s ready to play”.
Frenchman Benzema, on his 400th appearance for Los Blancos, drilled the ball into the bottom left corner.
As things stand, Real Madrid are third in the league with 60 points to their name.
Benzema saw his close-range effort saved before at the other end Las Palmas substitute Erik Exposito fired over after Navas made a hash of his clearance in the area.
The eventual 2-2 draw on Gran Canaria last season was masterminded by Quique Setien, who repeated the trick in the Bernabeu by matching Zidane’s side blow-for-blow in a pulsating 3-3 draw that the visitors should probably have won.
Half way through the month of February, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insinuated heavily that he was unlikely to remain as first team coach next season pointing to the “emotional drain” involved in overseeing one of the world’s biggest football clubs. The transfer never materialised as we’re well aware, and Liverpool went on to sell Coutinho to Madrid’s bitter rivals Barcelona for a fee in the region of £134m.