Last hope for Karim Benzema and France extinguished

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema will not return to the international scene, despite reports that he might have reconsidered his decision to retire, announced on the 19th of December.

That hinged on the future of the French national team, which has been placed in the hands of Didier Deschamps. French Federation President Noel Le Graet has decided to extend Deschamps’ contract until 2026, which will take his reign at Les Bleus to over a decade.

It rules Zinedine Zidane out of the job, news that has not gone down well in some quarters. More problematic still were Le Graet’s comments on Zidane, which caused Real Madrid to wade into the situation.

However as per Diario AS, without Zidane, any hope of Benzema returning to Les Bleus is gone. Benzema will be 38 by the time Deschamps leaves and is unlikely to be at the same level.

The two fell out at the World Cup, with Deschamps feeling he was dishonest about his injury, while Benzema was frustrated with Deschamps for what he saw as an overzealous treatment of his injury. The end result was sent away from the France camp.

Either way, Benzema’s France career remains one of the great divorces in international football history. Despite trying to make things work ahead of and during the Euros, Benzema never managed to show the player he had become for France, after six years of exile. Even allowing for that absence, Benzema scored 37 goals and racked up 97 caps for France.

Tags 2022 World Cup Didier Deschamps France Karim Benzema Real Madrid
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