Karim Benzema has been left out of Didier Deschamps France squad yet again following his suspected involvement in an alleged attempt to blackmail Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.
The Real Madrid striker was left out of Deschamps' Euro 2016 squad and has not featured for France since since August 2015 when he scored a brace and assisted another in a 4-0 victory over Armenia. He has appeared 81 times for his country since his debut in 2007 and scored 27 goals in that time.
Backing from teammates
This news comes despite calls from his French compatriots to reinstate the player. Antoine Griezmann most recently said, “France misses him because he’s a great player.”
“He’s easy to connect with on the pitch. Playing with him is easy and he understands me on and off the field," the Atletico Madrid attacker continued.
Deschamps has continuously backed his decision to leave the player out of his squad as a matter that helps the team.
Other attacking news
There was also no place for Anthony Martial for next week's top-of-the-table World Cup qualifying clash at home to Sweden and the friendly with the Ivory Coast, but fit-again Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud returns.
France host Sweden at the Stade de France on November 11 and play the Ivory Coast four days later.
Sweden and France are top of 2018 World Cup qualifying Group A, each with seven points from three games.
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Paris SG), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG), Steve Mandanda (Crystal Palace/ENG)
Defenders: Sebastien Corchia (Lille), Lucas Digne (Barcelona/ESP), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal/ENG), Layvin Kurzawa (Paris SG), Adil Rami (Seville/ESP), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/ESP), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP)
Midfielders: N'Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Blaise Matuidi (Paris SG), Dimitri Payet (West Ham/ENG), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG), Adrien Rabiot (Paris SG), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham/ENG)
Attackers: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich/GER), Ousmane Dembele (Dortmund/GER), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Kevin Gameiro (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP)
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