Since the last appearance of Karim Benzema at the end of 2015, the France team has changed a lot. Several convicts have left, others have arrived. But some Blues still know the Real Madrid striker, like Raphaël Varane, Hugo Lloris or Antoine Griezmann.
He was pushed out by the winds of controversy. Forced to go through a back door. Five and a half years after his last appearance for the French team, Karim Benzema is about to make his comeback. According to L’Équipe and Le Parisien, Didier Deschamps could summon him to compete in the Euro next month. The coach will unveil this Tuesday (around 8:20 p.m.) the names of the 26 players selected for the big summer meeting. If the Real Madrid striker is part of it, he will find a largely reshaped group.
Long sidelined, due in particular to the Mathieu Valbuena sextape affair and certain comments made in the press, the 33-year-old striker witnessed from afar the emergence of a golden generation. That of Kylian Mbappé, eleven years his junior. The two cracks, who crossed paths in the Champions League, have never yet evolved together. Ditto for Kingsley Coman, N’Golo Kanté, Adrien Rabiot, Benjamin Pavard, Presnel Kimpembe or Lucas Hernandez.
Deschamps used it 32 times with the Blues
But Benzema (81 caps, 27 goals) will not arrive completely in uncharted territory at Clairefontaine. Several captains of the current team have already shared a locker room with him. Starting with Raphaël Varane, who has rubbed shoulders with him for ten years at Real and who also knew him in the selection. Captain Hugo Lloris played in Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup alongside KB Nueve. Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann were also there during the epic in Brazil, where the Blues reached the quarter-finals (1-0 defeat against Germany).
Among the replacements, Steve Mandanda, Lucas Digne, Moussa Sissoko or Anthony Martial shared selections with the former gifted OL. Not to mention Didier Deschamps, who knows Benzema perfectly. Before boycotting him, the coach used him 32 times between 2012 and 2015. By giving him the role of center-forward at the 2014 World Cup. Seven months after a drunken night at the Stade de France, during the victory against Ukraine in the return leg (3-0).