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Karim Benzema Wanted Reece James' Shirt After The Full-Time Whistle, He Knows He Witnessed Something Special

Jack Kenmare

| Last updated 

Karim Benzema Wanted Reece James' Shirt After The Full-Time Whistle, He Knows He Witnessed Something Special

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema asked for Reece James' shirt following their dramatic Champions League win against Chelsea.

The 22-year-old full-back was arguably Chelsea's Man of the Match at the Bernabeu. Despite picking up a booking just 10 minutes into the quarter-final second leg, he managed to contain Vinicius Jr for large spells down that right hand side.

In fact, Madrid pair Vinicius Jr and Ferland Mendy attempted four dribbles against England international James in the first half but they failed to register a single one, such was his dominance.

In total, he made eight tackles on the night, more than any other Chelsea player.

He saved Thomas Tuchel's side on a number of occasions. He flicked the ball away from Benzema, who looked destined to score, and risked giving away a penalty – and a potential red card – to save his side from conceding.

It was a great performance from the academy product and clearly, one of the world's best players appreciated his efforts. After the full-time whistle, Benzema asked the England international for his shirt – the ultimate sign of respect.

You can see footage of that interaction below.

Reece James earned plenty of plaudits from social media following his efforts against the La Liga leaders.

One fan wrote: "Reece James is the best right back in the world. Locked up Vinicus pretty much the whole game after getting a yellow in the first 20 minutes, and we didn't even utilize his attacking strengths today, what a back up RWB could do."

Another said: "Reece James had an all timers performance tonight. Announced himself as one of the best fullbacks in the world."

A third commented: "My man of the match, think about how much we were done by Vini in the 1st leg. Reece James comes in and back pockets him with ease, sensational performance."

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

Last week, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand waxed lyrically about the Chelsea defender.

"Reece James, man, what a fantastic footballer," he told BT Sport. "He is the modern day footballer. We talk about Trent Alexander-Arnold, he is right up there with him, you can’t split them really.

"They bring so much to the game. Reece will bring more goals, but look at his passing, he doesn’t really even get the recognition he deserves for his passing. 

"He’s got every club in the bag. In these areas, he can be devastating. He has got that physicality as well. 

"He patrols that right hand side now like he owns it, he has a confidence now that is very different to when he first came into the team, which is understandable. 

"When I was a player I want the team to miss me if i didn’t play, he is in that boat. If he doesn’t play you notice a big difference in the team and the level drops slightly."

Thoughts on Reece James' performance against Madrid? Should he be England's first choice right-back?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: Reece James, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Champions League

Jack Kenmare
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