In an exclusive interview granted this Thursday to The Indian Paper and RMC Sport, on the eve of the start of the Euro (June 11-July 11), Emmanuel Macron welcomed the return to the French team of Karim Benzema, an “important and symbolic choice for the nation “.
“It’s nice!” Passing through Clairefontaine this Thursday, to support the Blues before the start of the Euro, Emmanuel Macron exchanged a few words with Karim Benzema, back in the selection after five years of absence. A welcome return for the President of the Republic, as he explained in an exclusive interview granted to The Indian Paper (and also to be found at 6 pm in the program “Top of the Foot” on RMC). “I think Karim Benzema represents something. There had been more tense moments. For many French people, he is first and foremost a great football champion and I do not say that only for his Lyon youth (smile). He left for several years in Spain and is followed closely by the fans. I also think that he is a model of success for many young people of immigrant background “, underlined Emmanuel Macron.
“It goes beyond sport”
“He is one of them (models of success, editor’s note). He is a player who has matured, I was very happy to find him, insisted the Head of State, questioned by Mohamed Bouhafsi and Jean-Louis Tourre . I think that the coach made the right choice, for his team and the sport. He also made a choice which is important and symbolic for the nation. It means that when you have differences at a given moment, reasons which means that we do not retain someone, and well we can evolve because this person matures, corrects his faults. Karim Benzema has gained in sporting and personal maturity. We can feel it, he is much more serene and fulfilled. has a huge club playing career. ” Benzema was removed from the France team in 2015 with the scandal of the Mathieu Valbuena sextape blackmail affair.
Asked about the process that led to this reinstatement during the announcement of his list of 26 players selected for the Euro, Didier Deschamps had advanced “important steps” and explained that he “spoke at length” with the striker of Real Madrid , author of a new full season in club. “I only aspire to one thing, that he writes the page of the immense player that he is within the France team. I feel that he wants to do that”, insisted Emmanuel Macron. In his eyes, the return of Benzema is anything but anecdotal. “It goes beyond sport, it was expected by many young and old in France, he added. He is one of these models. In life you can make mistakes. there is never anything crippling when you make an effort to come back. (…) It is the illustration of a very beautiful intelligence, on both sides, I think it is for the better. It means we’re all making progress in life. “