French striker Karim Benzema has found himself at the center of a storm, both meteorologically and metaphorically, as he was reportedly left out of Al-Ittihad’s mid-season training camp.
The exclusion follows his failure to report for duty after being trapped by a cyclone in Mauritius.
The predicament began when Benzema missed three crucial training sessions before Al-Ittihad embarked on their winter break.
Notably absent from the squad’s reunion last Friday, the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner’s situation worsened as he was subsequently excluded from the list of players heading to Dubai.
Benzema’s camp, however, asserts that the striker is stranded in Mauritius, where he was on holiday, due to the adverse conditions caused by tropical storm Belal.
Mauritius is currently under a cyclone class one warning, with expectations of intensifying conditions.
Despite the reported natural hindrance, MARCA suggests that Benzema has fallen out of favor with his manager, Marcelo Gallardo.
Al-Ittihad reportedly believes that the 26-year-old should have returned to Saudi Arabia by Friday, asserting that he left it too late.
It’s worth noting that Benzema had joined Al-Ittihad in a high-profile three-year deal worth £258 million after leaving Real Madrid.
The unexpected turn of events has not only disrupted the club’s plans for the mid-season camp but has also cast a shadow over Benzema’s relationship with the team and manager Gallardo.
The saga raises questions about the impact of unforeseen circumstances on footballing schedules and the delicate balance between personal and professional commitments in the world of sports.