Didier Deschamps is determined to put Karim Benzema behind him
Benzema has been rewarded for a beautiful season at the Merengue with a return to international football after five years out in the cold.
There were a lot of exchanges
France boss Didier Deschamps is determined to put Karim Benzema behind him after recalling the Real Madrid ace for Euro 2020. Benzema has been rewarded for a beautiful season at the Merengue with a return to international football after five years out in the cold. And although the relationship of the pair was far from perfect in that interval, the coach is only interested in what the French star can do on the pitch. “I won’t talk about our discussion. But it was a very, very long: there were a lot of exchanges,” Deschamps told reporters on Sunday when asked about Benzema’s comeback. “The important thing is that today and tomorrow. The fact that he did not return earlier did not prevent the French squad from having good results.”
Benzema accused Deschamps of bowing to pressure from a racist part of France by excluding him
The France head coach added: “Things have changed. Me, and of course Karim’s side too, of course. I am not going to tell you when, how, if it was possible before. The conditions were not met; they are today. If I accepted this decision, you could imagine it was okay”. Benzema found himself thrown out of the French squad in 2016 at the height of a scandal involving him and former Les Bleus team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, who also saw his international career end around the same time. The scandal is related to allegations of blackmail related to a sex tape, and the case will go to trial in October 2021. Tempers further flared even more between player and coach when, in a 2016 interview, Benzema accused Didier of “bowing to pressure from a racist part of France” by excluding him.
“You want to make me talk about nasty things. There is one word: ‘racist’,” Deschamps told reporters. “Since that day, I have not been the same. I do not see the same path; I have broken away from everything. But, then, it was very violent.”