Karim Benzema was banned from the French national team since 2015 by the football federation because of the "sex tape" scandal.
Karim Benzema recalled into the French squad for Euro 2020. The Frenchman has been out of the Les Bleus since 2015 because of the “sex tape” scandal. The 33-year old striker has played in 81 games for France and scored 27 goals. Head coach of France Didier Deschamps announced the squad on Tuesday.
“Why now? I don’t have the capacity and no one does, not even Karim, of going back and changing the past,” Deschamps said when announcing his squad on national television.
“The most important thing is today and the future.”
Benzema spoke of his happiness at the recall on Twitter. “So proud of this return to the France team and the trust I’ve been shown,” he wrote.
“Thanks to my family, my friends, my club, to you and to all who have supported me and given me strength every day.”
The Algerian born striker was banned from the French National team because of the “sex tape” scandal, in which he was accused of blackmailing team mate Matthiu Valbuena. Then Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the striker had no place in the squad.
Deschamps made clear that any lingering grudges seem to have been firmly buried.
“I won’t tell you a single word about the discussion between us, it concerns only us two. But he needed it and I needed it,” Deschamps said.
“I think the France team is above everything else. It doesn’t belong to me, even though I’m aware of the important responsibility I have.”
The Frenchman has been in scintillating form this season, he has scored 29 goals in 45 games for Real Madrid. After the departure of Cristian Ronaldo to Juventus in 2018 Benzema has been the go to man up front for the Los Blancos.
He has been a pivotal part of Zinedine Zidane’s plans this season as Real Madrid are in contention for a La Liga title going into the final match day.
Benzema doesn’t have a great relationship with striker Olivier Giroud who has been the main marksman up front for France in the absence of Benzema.
Deschamps will have a hard task keeping the dressing room quiet.
“I consider that the choice is for the good of the team, as it always is, and the France team is meant to be better with Benzema in it,” Deschamps said.
“But that’s in no way to discard Olivier Giroud. He’s also around. Let’s not forget that France had very good results for many years. We were European Championship runner-up and won the World Cup (in 2018).”