Deschamps: "It wouldn't be good for France if Benzema returned"
"I have to consider what I believe to be in France's best interests and what it means to represent our country", Deschamps told TF1.
Karim Benzema's absence from the France squad is still very much a talking point and in a documentary aired on TF1 last night, Didier Deschamps explained why he will not recall the Real Madrid striker for the national team. The relationship between the coach and Benzema broke down after the player was ostracised from the national team as a result of the Valbuena Case in 2015. It seems Deschamps isn't thinking about giving the player a reprieve. "It's a sport-related decision - to put it simplly, I don't think calling up up would be good for the national team. I base all of my decisions on what I beleive to in France's best interests - and what it means to represent our country, and that's all there is to it", Deschamps explained in the documentary which was broadcast following the team's 1-0 win over Iceland.
Benzema's international career is practically over
Because of the fallout from the Valbuena Case, Benzema is unlikely to ever play for France again while Deschamps is in charge. The point of no return was reache when Benzema was excluded from the squad for Euro 2016 which France hosted which was followed by comments by the madridista who claimed the coach had "bowed to the pressure of the racist part of France". Deschamps responded to those claims in January this year: "Some people can give speeches that can have consequences that go beyond any form of understanding, and I can never forget that; at that moment I considered that a line had been crossed. I pick French players, all of them are French and it has never occurred to me to not select someone based on their colour or religion. And in the same way the other way around, I would never pick someone based on the same criteria, because that would just as bad or worse".
When asked again about Benzema's comments, the France coach gave a cryptic reply: "There is only one truth in life. There might be various versions, but there is only one truth. I have a lot of problems with people who want to believe what they feel is the truth. Its beyond all comprension, and I'm not working in football for that".
Friday's win puts France second in their qualifying group for Euro 2020. Deschamps team are level with Group H leaders Turkey on 18 points. Benzema meanwhile has continued to train in Valdebebas alongside Mariano and Jovic. Zidane's squad, minus their international players, are gearing up for Saturday's trip to Mallorca.