Benzema argues with the coach after returning to Al Ittihad and leaves training

The French forward had a disagreement with Marcelo Gallardo, who ordered him to do individual training. The issue is already resolved.

Benzema argues with the coach after returning to Al Ittihad and leaves training Embed from Getty Images

In a revealing piece by the Saudi newspaper Arriyadiyah, tensions flared at Al Ittihad as Karim Benzema, the club's high-profile French forward, dramatically exited Monday's training session prematurely following a confrontation with the team's head coach, Marcelo Gallardo.

The root of the dispute appears to be Gallardo's directive for Benzema to abandon the group activity and undertake individual training, citing a discrepancy in fitness levels between Benzema and the rest of the squad. Benzema, evidently frustrated by the suggestion, retorted that he had diligently followed his individual training regime during his recent absence from the team - a period spanning several weeks - before choosing to depart from the session altogether.

The incident marks a rocky reintroduction for Benzema, who was returning to the fold after a conspicuous absence from the team's January training camp in Dubai, a result of failing to join the squad in a timely manner. This absence was not Benzema's first lapse; he also missed the final matches of December, signaling a deeper rift with Gallardo and the club's management.

Despite the initial optimism surrounding Benzema's return to active training with Al Ittihad, Monday's disagreement has cast a shadow over his comeback. Yet, by Tuesday, there seemed to be a pivot towards reconciliation, or at least a temporary detente, as Benzema was observed participating in gym sessions alongside the team's injured players, signaling a possible easing of tensions.

The narrative took a turn towards resolution by the following day, with Arriyadiyah reporting that the discord between Benzema, Gallardo, and the club had been amicably resolved. This development hints at a behind-the-scenes effort to smooth over the cracks and realign the star player with the team's collective objectives.

Benzema's situation at Al Ittihad underscores the complex dynamics at play within professional sports teams, where management decisions, player egos, and the pressures of high-stakes competition can sometimes collide. The resolution of this particular incident suggests a willingness on all sides to bridge divides for the greater good of the team. However, the episode also highlights the challenges that come with managing star talent within a highly competitive and scrutinized environment. As Al Ittihad continues its campaign, the integration of Benzema's skillset and experience will be crucial, not just for the player's personal redemption, but for the team's aspirations in the season ahead.

Updated: 03:27, 7 Feb 2024

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