Six years after being exiled from the France national team, Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema is in line for a return to Didier Deschamps’ squad for this summer’s European Championship.
Benzema has not played for France since October 2015, after which he was arrested for his role in an alleged blackmailing of team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape – a scandal which continues to be discussed in courts to this day.
His exclusion from the squad has turned pretty ugly at times, with Deschamps’ house being targeted by graffiti accusing him of being racist towards Benzema and other people of north African heritage, so it was widely assumed that Benzema would never wear the blue shirt under Deschamps again.
However, according to L’Equipe, the door is back open to Benzema. Deschamps has understandably been impressed with his return of 29 goals and eight assists in 45 appearances for Real this season, and now the idea of Benzema making it into his Euro 2020 squad is no longer off the table.
The reports state that Deschamps is keen to rebuild the bridge with Benzema, towards whom he has never held any animosity. The boss has always vowed that his only goal is to pick the best squad for France, and there is no doubting Benzema’s quality in that regard.
Benzema is now expected to take up a major role in a front line which already features PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and an Antoine Griezmann who usually performs better than he does at club level with Barcelona.
If you’re not scared of France at this summer’s Euros already, you should be now.
Seeing Benzema return under Deschamps would be an enormous surprise. The boss isn’t exactly known for his controversial, shocking call-ups, so something as high-profile as recalling Benzema is usually well out of his comfort zone.
However, if we’re talking about pure footballing ability, there’s no denying that Benzema should be part of the squad. He was an outside contender for the cancelled 2020 Ballon d’Or and continues to shine for Real, and now it appears as though he will finally get another opportunity to strut his stuff on the international stage.