France pair ‘happy’ Benzema got injured after FFF wanted striker as ‘scapegoat’ for Euro 2020
Hugo Lloris and Antoine Griezmann were reportedly ‘happy’ to see Karim Benzema sent home from Qatar with an injury as they thought the Real Madrid striker ‘could put their leadership in jeapardy’.
Benzema was set to lead the line for France but picked up an injury on the eve of the tournament.
Rumours ahead of the final suggested the striker could return to the squad having recovered from his problem, but such a suggestion was dismissed by manager Didier Deschamps.
According to French reporter Romain Molina (via Managing Madrid), Benzema wanted to stay in Doha as he was told he could recover in time for the quarter-finals or even the Round of 16.
But the French Football Federation (FFF) and Deschamps never considered the Ballon d’Or winner’s return to the squad, because Lloris and Griezmann didn’t want him there.
On Monday, Benzema revealed his decision to retire from international football having returned briefly for Euro 2020 and World Cup qualification following a six-year hiatus.
Alongside a picture of him in action for France, Benzema tweeted: ‘I made the effort and the mistakes it took to be where I am today and I’m proud of it! I have written my story and ours is ending.’
Molina concluded his report by claiming that the FFF has an ulterior motive for welcoming Benzema back into the fold for Euro 2020.
Some inside the governing body ‘felt like they could use Benzema as a scapegoat if anything went wrong’ as a new figure in a dressing room full of players who had conquered the 2018 World Cup.
Benzema decided to turn down an invitation to the World Cup final due to his broken relationship with Deshamps, but it’s claimed he could return if the France boss leaves his post.
Deschamps, who has led the national team for the last decade, will reportedly meet with FFF president Noel Le Graet in January to decide his future.
Zinedine Zidane has been tipped to take over should Deschamps leave and his arrival could prompt Benzema to reverse his decision and make himself available for selection again.