Sports Burst: Suarez, Benzema and Messi Take a Break



Luis Suarez, Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi set for fortnight of rest 


Time to take the LaLiga title race to the next level. 

While no side will be playing due to the international break until Real Madrid take to the field against Eibar on Saturday, April 3 there is still a prize to be won - which team will be the most rested in the final run-in?

The cancellation of the latest round of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers means that the side in the title-chasing trio that has the most South Americans - especially of the aged variety - will take the most advantage. However, World Cup qualifiers in other parts of the world will still see key players leave town for 10 days. 

League-leading Atletico Madrid is definitely a challenger here. Old-timer, Luis Suarez, will be able to rest some weary bones after a spectacular season so far of 19 LaLiga goals. Angel Correa, Renan Lodi and Jose Gimenez will also be able to rest up. 

Barcelona can certainly tick the 'resting up South American golden oldie' box with Lionel Messi getting a little bit of downtime and avoiding his usual Argentina fortnight of travel, misery and stress. However, Messi is likely to be a bit of a singular figure in training with a heck of a departure for players to Spain and France in particular.

As for Real Madrid? The team has five Brazilians and a Uruguayan in the squad but aside from Casemiro, the likes of Vinicius Junior could do with more games - and goals - in their legs to contribute to the cause. 

And as much as he might quibble about it in public, Zinedine Zidane also has the added bonus of Karim Benzema's continued exile from the France national team.

So the question of who needs the rest the most boils down to two players and two teams - as with the actual title race. Who means more to their side? Luis Suarez or Lionel Messi? 


Team Mbappe or Team Haaland?


One of the themes of the international break is always to annoy footballers with the big theme of the day. In the current international window it seems to be - Team Mbappe or Team Haaland: Pick a side. 

Luis Suarez was asked about this on the occasion of scoring 500 goals in his professional career and the Atletico Madrid man chose the burly Norwegian as the footballer to make the biggest impact, despite Kylian Mbappe having already won a World Cup. 

"He's one of the best number nines in the world and will forge an era. I'm a little bit more for Haaland but Mbappe will be huge," admitted El Pistolero. 

Raphael Varane was asked the same question. Unsurprisingly, the French defender chose his compatriot and with good reason. "I think Kylian has all the qualities to lead his generation and football in general," said the Real Madrid defender.

Incidentally, Varane was a little less open on two other topics including his future (or lack of it) with Real Madrid - "I don't want to answer this" and Karim Benzema's eternal exclusion from the French national team - "I have a side, but it's not for me to talk about it, it's not my job."


Best women's club side in the world comes to beIN SPORTS 


While the men's club game is taking a time-out, women's soccer ploughs forward with the quarterfinals of the UEFA Women's Champions League. 

And beIN SPORTS is bringing both ties in the biggest match of all, PSG against Lyon - the reigning Champions League winners and the biggest and best women's club side in the world. Catch the action from the first leg live at 12:30PM ET live on beIN SPORTS on Wednesday. 

Starting on Wednesday, the final two match days for the Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers take place across beIN SPORTS as giants like Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt and Ivory Coast try to seal their spots for AFCON 2021 in Cameroon in January.