Calls for France to restore Real Madrid star Karim Benzema

A winning member of the France 2018 World Cup squad has called for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to be restored to the first-team squad.

Central defender Adil Rami – formerly of Valencia and Sevilla – believes that Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps should set aside his differences from Benzema and restore him to the squad.

The Madrid striker not appearing for his nation since prior to the 2016 European Championships.

Benzema has 27 goals from 81 international caps but has not appeared for Les Bleus in either of the last two major tournaments, with Olivier Giroud now the leading striker for the nation.

Rami told Le Parisien: “It is very frustrating not to have Benzema in this team. Saying this is not be against Olivier Giroud. We also need Giroud because he is a scorer.

“But if there was a reconciliation with the coach, it would be great to see Benzema in blue again for his nation. For Karim it is important to take part in some great competition. This story is too stupid. If you need to apologize publicly or in front of the coach, do it Karim. Think of ‘les bleus’! ”

Benzema has continued to thrive for Madrid in recent years, netting 30 goals in 2018/19 – his best tally since 2011/12 – before hitting 27 last season and netting six in 11 appearances this time round.

Whilst Benzema has taken over the attacking mantle from Cristiano Ronaldo at Madrid, Giroud has become a fringe figure at Stamford Bridge.

It comes amid the backdrop of The Versailles Prosecutor’s Office requesting that Benzema stands trial for his part in an attempted sex-tape blackmail with a former international teammate.

Benzema’s lawyer Sylvain Cormier confirmed the news in an interview with EFE in July, as reported by Marca, and relates to his alleged involvement in blackmailing his former France international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

It has been alleged that the Madrid star acted as an intermediary between a group of blackmailers and Valbuena, who appeared in a recorded video of a sexual nature.

Benzema is said to have encouraged Valbuena to pay the demands of the blackmailers, which was refused, and the Madrid striker was subsequently banished from the France international setup by boss Didier Deschamps.

Benzema’s lawyer Cormier has said: “This is no surprise, the Attorney General has been very involved in this matter so we expected him to ask to go to trial, although the accusations are not based on reality.”

Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cissé has also been involved in the investigation with Karim Zenati, a childhood friend of Benzema’s and three other people.

Cissé reportedly failed in his attempts to convince Valbuena so the gang then moved to Benzema, using Zenati as the mutual link.

In December, the Supreme Court in France rejected an appeal from Benzema that evidence against him had been gathered illegally.

Tags Adil Rami Karim Benzema
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