On Tuesday evening, France coach Didier Deschamps will announce his definitive squad for the European Championship in June. In addition to many seeded players and some trembling candidates, a very surprising name could also land on the list: Karim Benzema. This is what the French sports bible “L’Équipe” reports on Tuesday morning, and “Le Parisien” follows at noon. And that is explosive!
Because the 33-year-old was banned from the French national team in 2015. The reason? The so-called “sextape affair” about the real star.
Benzema was accused towards the end of 2015 of blackmailing his teammate Mathieu Valbuena together with his childhood friend Karim Zenati. The two are said to have been in possession of a video that shows the offensive player having sex with his girlfriend. Valbuena should pay 150,000 euros, otherwise the video will be published.
Valbuena then left France, first switched to Fenerbahce and then to Greece to Olympiacos Piraeus. In a later interview, he admitted to having fled France because of the sex tape affair.
Although Benzema has always denied the allegations, asserts that he has never seen such a video and was even able to achieve some partial success in court: the suspicion remained. As a consequence, he was always ignored by national coach Didier Deschamps. “Les Bleus” celebrated the 2018 World Cup without their star striker.
Now a return from nowhere is looming. In terms of sport, everything speaks for a comeback of the striker. Together with Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann, he would form an absolute hammer storm at the EM.
At club level, Benzema has been one of the top performers at Real Madrid for years and this season may be playing the best football of his career. He recently won the prize as the best French player outside of Ligue 1.
In addition, “L’Équipe” emphasizes, Didier Deschamps never explicitly said that Benzema had no way back into the national team.
So it is quite possible that the coach will reverse his decision after five years. Football France is eagerly awaiting, tonight the definitive line-up of the 26 European Championship drivers will be announced. (Tim)
Published: May 18, 2021, 26 minutes ago
Last updated: May 18, 2021, 13 minutes ago