SPORTS

Benzema Requests For Reece James’ Jersey In Show Of Respect After The Exciting UCL Game

After Real Madrid knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League quarter-finals, Karim Benzema requested for Reece James’ shirt as a mark of respect for the defender.

After stealing the show with a hat-trick in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, the veteran striker struck again in extra time to send the LaLiga side through despite their 3-2 loss at home.

On 96 minutes, his header left Edouard Mendy grasping at thin air and Antonio Rudiger flat on his back, thereby ending the Blues’ chances of a spectacular aggregate recovery.

However, in a wonderful gesture of sportsmanship, Benzema requested the shirt from James, who fought courageously against the striker in both matchups.

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James, an England midfielder, was booked early in the game but went on to be one of his team’s finest performers, creating chances and defending well.

Despite the lack of consolation following his team’s elimination, the 22-year-old took home Benzema’s jersey as a memento of the match.

The moment the red-hot hitman made a beeline for James at the final whistle, amid the cheers of his teammates and supporters, was caught on camera. Both players headed to the tunnel after Benzema handed back his shirt.

James likewise removed his top and handed it to his mercurial opponent before they exited the pitch to proceed to their separate dressing rooms.

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Chelsea appeared to be capable of pulling off an almost impossible achievement for long spells of the game, having gone into a three-goal lead to draw level overall.

Rodrygo, who had been brought on as a substitute for the stumbling hosts, came to their rescue late on with a clean shot at the far post after Luka Modric’s wonder-pass.

The drama did not end there, though, as Thomas Tuchel’s side was knocked out of the Champions League after Benzema scored a header.

James and his teammates will now focus on their FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace this Saturday, with a place at Wembley and a chance at silverware on the line.

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