MADRID (AP) — A missed penalty kick. An injury. A burglary.
It wasn’t the type of day Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema had hoped for.
Benzema had a tough day on the field Sunday then came back home to realize his house had been burglarized while he was away.
Police told Spanish media Monday they were investigating the incident that took place at Benzema’s house while he was playing a Spanish league game with Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Police said no one was at the player's home when it was burglarized. They did not give any detail about what was taken.
Benzema had already had his house burglarized during a game in 2019. Similar incidents happened involving other players in Spain and other European countries in the past.
Benzema has been one of Madrid’s top players this season, leading the team with 24 goals. He is the Spanish league's top scorer with 17 goals, five more than any other player. His partnership with Vinícius Júnior has worked well in attack, and the duo has been red-hot from the start.
But Benzema endured an unusually tough day Sunday as Madrid was held by Elche to a 2-2 home draw, missing a chance to increase its lead over Sevilla at the top of the standings. It is four points ahead after 22 matches.
His struggles began with a bad miss with only the goalkeeper to beat inside the area, a position from where he rarely fails to score. Then moments later he couldn’t capitalize on a penalty kick, sending his shot from the spot way over the crossbar for his first penalty miss with the Spanish club.
The injury came early in the second half, when he apparently pulled a muscle. He asked to be substituted after feeling some discomfort, and grabbed the back of his left leg as he walked into the changing room to be evaluated more closely.
Benzema was expected to undergo further tests Monday so team doctors could determine the extent of the injury. He will have extra time to recover during the international break, as Madrid’s next match isn’t until February.
The 34-year-old Benzema had been rested during a Copa del Rey match against Elche last week, when Madrid won in extra time to advance to the quarterfinals.
Last year, Benzema was given a one-year suspended jail sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros (then $84,000) after he was found guilty of being involved in a 2015 attempt to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena in a sex-tape case.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni