Karim Benzema has responded angrily to claims that his not singing the French national anthem is a sign of a lack of commitment.
On a nine-game run with Les Bleus without a goal, the Real Madrid man goes into preparations for the World Cup qualifying double-header with Georgia and Spain under continued scrutiny.
The latest media assessment has focused on his refusal to sing the country’s national anthem before games.
“I do not have to sing the national anthem, nor does it mean I like the national team any more or less,” the striker is quoted as responding on RMC today.
“I have never sung it in my life and I will not do so now. By not doing so, it is not preventing me from scoring a hat-trick.
“I love the national team, I do not understand how someone can question that. It’s a dream to represent France, but nobody is going to force me to sing.
“I do not see what the problem is. Zidane, for example, never sang. In the stadium there are fans who do not sing.
“The important thing is that we are united.”
Play the world's most challenging Fantasy Football Game by building your Team from Europe's best 5 leagues. Pick your favourite stars including Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to compete against friends.