The story of Karim Benzema and the French national team is like a TV series that offers a lot of intriguing plots. And then the TV channel admits the project has no prospects and closes it, forcing the writers to rewrite everything feverishly and try to bring the case to a finale that will not leave the audience in confusion and with a sense of wasted time.
In this case, the hero himself put the point, writing, “I put in a lot of effort, I made mistakes along the way. But I am proud of what I have achieved. I wrote my story. And now it has come to an end.
All the formalities seem to have been respected, but there is still a sense of understatement. Especially when we are talking about one of the best strikers of the last decade and winner of the Golden Ball. And here – four sentences and less than two dozen words. You have to admit, for a story Benzema talks about, it’s kind of stingy. And that’s still putting it mildly.
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And there’s no doubt that when the time comes to say goodbye to Real Madrid, Karim will write a lot more. And not only about himself, but also about the club, partners, fans. In the case of the national team – a lot of “I”, although Benzema is not selfish at all. Especially on the field, where he is ready to give everything for the sake of the team and the victory, and even a little more.
Only in the national team it did not work out. At his first major tournament the Three Colors did not make it out of the group at UEFA EURO 2008. Two years later, before the disgrace of the 2010 World Cup, the forward was not included in the application. At the European Championship 2012 – zero goals in four games and relegation in the quarterfinals. And only the 2014 World Cup was a ray of light, which after three goals in the group extinguished for Benzema and France in the quarterfinal game against the future champions Germans.
And then the same story happened with the intimate video and the blackmail of Mathieu Valbuena. For a soap opera, cool. For life, terrible. And during the years of investigation many people did not understand who the Real Madrid forward turned out to be in this criminal story. Either a criminal, or an accomplice, or a victim of circumstances and, to put it mildly, not the smartest person. The answer to this puzzle does not change the fact – the project “Benzema and the national team” has been closed for six years.
After his return to the national team, there were small breakthroughs, but still it was not possible to achieve great results.
Benzema was supposed to go to the 2024 World Cup as the best footballer in Europe. He was included in the national team bid and everything was going to happen when the Frenchman would help his team fight for the trophy. However, an injury spoiled the situation but despite all the fears, the player was left at the disposal of the national team. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the player hasn’t played a single minute in the tournament.
The French team showed incredible results, reaching the final of the tournament. Who knows, maybe Benzema wasn’t enough for the team to take home the trophy. Instead of Karim, Olivier Giroud was the team’s main striker. And you have to admit he did it really well. After Mbappe, Giroud is the second scorer of the team, so we can say that he did his job well.
Although Karim himself does not consider Benzema to be a top forward, when comparing himself and Giroud, he considers the choice in the direction of the best. Benzema really had a brighter career. But we should not forget Giroud’s achievement in the national team either. It is worth remembering that Giroud is the top scorer in the national team. He broke the records of many top strikers, such as Henri, Trezeguet and others.
Benzema’s decision came out rather spontaneously, after such a brilliant season at the club level, everyone was sure that he would show himself in the national team. But it never happened, and the reason is not even in the game form of Karim, it’s all good, his statistics during this season also shows it. It’s because of the player’s difficult character. In Madrid he has no such problems, but in the national team players cannot get a foothold in the base. Now the fact remains, Benzema finished his career in the French national team.
The most intriguing question. On the one hand, Benzema is officially the best footballer in the world, which any team wants to see. On the other hand, there are incontrovertible statistics: under Didier Deschamps the French team reached the finals of major tournaments three times when Benzema was not in the squad. And when Karim played (at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2020), the Three Colors were out early.
Even without taking statistics into account, things are not so clear-cut. It is unlikely that the rumors about the negative impact of the Real Madrid forward on the atmosphere in the national team came from nothing. But we can leave them out of the equation.