Real Madrid

Benzema: Real Madrid man still France's best, says Rivaldo

The one-time Barça favourite has talked glowingly of the Real Madrid man - and thinks he might have made the difference at Euro 2016.

Benzema: Real Madrid man still France's best, says Rivaldo
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND AFP

Former Barcelona star Rivaldo has spoken of his admiration for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, praising the 28-year-old as France's best player.

"France missed Benzema at the Euros"

In the wake of a sex-tape blackmail scandal, Benzema was left out of Les Bleus' squad for this summer's European Championship as the hosts lost to Portugal in the final.

And Rivaldo, winner of the 1999 Ballon d'Or and World Player of the Year awards, explained in the French media: "I think France really missed him at the Euros.

"With Benzema, it could have had a happier ending [for France]."

Benzema has 81 caps for France.

Benzema still number one

In Benzema's absence, Antoine Griezmann grabbed six goals for France to finish Euro 2016 with the Golden Boot and the Player of the Tournament prize, but Rivaldo was in no doubt the Real ace remains ahead of 'Le Petit Prince'.

"Griezmann obviously had a great season for club and country," said the 44-year-old. "But I think Karim Benzema is still France's number one [footballer]."