He’s still regarded as one of the world’s best centre-forwards and he’s part of one of the most lethal attacking line-ups on the planet.
However, Real Madrid star Karim Benzema hasn’t played for France since October 2015 following his alleged involvement in the extortion of his international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
"What I would like is to at least have a discussion with the coach (Didier Deschamps), that he tells me what he thinks,” Benzema was quoted as saying by ESPN in March. “I have to know. The last time I spoke to the coach on the phone, it was well before the Euro. He told me, 'Karim, I'm going to tell you something you're not going to like. I'm not going to pick you.' At the time, I was very disappointed, I didn't need explanations.
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"We haven't had contact since. But today, having taken a step back, I would like him to explain to me why he doesn't pick me and why it continues. I ask myself that question every day."
However, Benzema may have totally ruined his chances of receiving a surprise call-up from Deschamps ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Russia after liking a rather unflattering photo of the French national team head coach.
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Benzema liked this Instagram post
The post, uploaded by ‘boobaofficial’ on Instagram, shows the photo of Benzema’s incredible dribble against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last week.
However, the heads of Diego Godin, Stefan Savic and Jose Gimenez have been replaced by Olivier Giroud, former France prime minister Manuel Valls, who previously stated that Benzema had ‘no place in the France team’, and Deschamps.
Deschamps hasn’t reacted well to this.
Deschamps: 'It's pathetic'
“I would say only one word: it’s pathetic,” Deschamps told reporters, per the Metro. “The French team was built before the Euro, it consolidated through the competition where France managed to go to the final.
“The group continued to be in this qualifying phase [for the World Cup in 2018].
“I have a group in which there is harmony. I trust players who answered on the field, I incorporated young players because I consider that they have great potential.
“I am the only decision-maker, I make decisions in a sporting setting. For me, I always considered that a group is above everything else.
“I always make decisions for the good of the team of France. I always discuss with my technical staff before announcing the list. I’ve always acted like that, I do not change anything.”
Benzema hit out at Valbuena earlier this week
It seems Benzema has reached the end of his tether with the reasons behind his continued expulsion from representing the French national team.
Earlier this week, he hit out at Valbuena, who hasn’t spoken about the affair.
“There's really something wrong with him... it's all part of his story,” Benzema was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
“When I hear him say that he's ready to play with me again. To hear him at the beginning, I'm scum, I threatened him, I scared him, all you can invent... And now he wants to play with me!
“He said he would not have lodged a complaint if he knew I was involved in the story.
“For more than a year-and-a-half I'm his worst enemy, a bad guy, a thug, I have to be punished, dragged in the mud, my name and that of my family, in the dirt.”
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