Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema swaps shirts with Reece James as a sign of respect for the Chelsea defender’s performance
KARIM BENZEMA has asked for Reece James’ shirt after Real Madrid’s rollercoaster Champions League win over Chelsea.
As in the first leg last week, it was the veteran French striker who once again grabbed the headlines.
The 34-year-old scored a brilliant hat-trick at Stamford Bridge six days ago to claim a 3-1 first leg win.
But Chelsea were in no mood to descend quietly to the Bernabeu as they had almost completed Mission Impossible.
They took a 3-0 lead to go ahead on a superb night of action in the Spanish capital.
But Madrid substitute Rodrygo saved his side late to send the game into extra time.
And unfortunately for James and Chelsea, the drama wasn’t over as Benzema headed home after six minutes to win 5-4 on aggregate.
England full-back James, despite being booked early, was Chelsea’s star player throughout the second leg.
And he even produced a superb cross for the unmarked Kai Havertz just from the death only for his teammate to head out wide.
Even though the winger will be desperately disappointed to be kicked out of the Champions League, he managed to return home with a treasured memory.
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But it was not he who had asked for it.
As jubilant scenes greeted the final whistle for home fans and their team, the winner of the match had eyes for only one thing… James’ shirt.
Benzema approached the 22-year-old and handed him his shirt in what appeared to be a sign of respect.
And he managed to get James back as the star seemingly earned the striker’s respect from the clash.