French media reports said today, Tuesday, that Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is close to returning to the ranks of the French first football team, after a long absence to participate with him in the European Championship 2020, which has been postponed until next summer, while it represents a dramatic change in the position of France coach Didier Deschamps.
Benzema has scored 29 goals for Real Madrid in all competitions this season, and has not played for France since 2015, and he is awaiting trial in a case of extortion in October.
Benzema said in 2016, when Deschamps excluded him from the squad, that the coach had bowed to pressure from “racists” in France.
Le Parisien newspaper said on Tuesday that Benzema, 33, who scored 27 goals in 81 international matches for France, would return to the squad.
Deschamps will announce the France squad, which will compete in the European Championship later on Tuesday.
L’Équipe newspaper also said that Benzema is in the process of joining France in preparation for the European Championship.
According to French reports, the expected return of Benzema was imposed by sporting reasons, which are the absence of Manchester United striker Anthony Martial since last March due to injury, and the exit of Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud from the plans of German coach Thomas Tuchel, in addition to the lack of brilliance of Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe in The position of the center of the attack, which opened the door to Benzema, who scored 22 goals in the Spanish League this season.
France’s modest start in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Qatar convinced Deschamps of the need to support the team with a player who would give the necessary offensive addition in pursuit of the crowning of the nations of Europe next summer.
Deschamps, who has not included Benzema for the team since October 2015, said he will not forget Benzema’s comments; But he never pledged not to join the national team again.
The French Professional League chose Benzema as the best French player in a foreign tournament on Sunday.
The European Nations Championship will start on June 11 and will last for a month. France will play in Group F, along with Germany, Hungary and Portugal.