Five years have passed in the meantime, with the legal proceedings still proceeding. Deschamps has never before outlined exactly why he refuses to call on Benzema, but in a recent interview he’s admitted that the striker’s comments about him will never be forgotten.
Benzema had remarked in an interview that Deschamps wasn’t picking him because he was being pressured by a racist sector of French society and that Benzema, as a man of Algerian heritage, wasn’t accepted in the same way a white man would be.
“It’s left a mark,” Deschamps said of the interview. “Even if over time it’s forgotten a bit, I can’t forget it. It’s not only to do with Benzema – there were also other statements from other people that led to this violent act that affects my family.
“When it comes to me as the choice of coach, the tactics, the technical aspect, [such criticism] is normal and doesn’t matter. But here a line is crossed.
“It affects my name, my family. For me, this is unacceptable. Saying such things could lead to verbal and physical aggression, and I’m the one who suffers the consequences. We cannot forget, I cannot forget. I will never forget it.”
The falling out between the two men is unfortunate as it negatively impacts both parties.
Deschamps, meanwhile, has enjoyed great success with France, leading them to the final of Euro 2016 as well as winning the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Benzema would have loved to have partaken in such a moment, and France could have used him.