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FRANCE

Benzema: debate on Les Bleus recall re-opens in France

With Benzema’s resurgence at Real Madrid, a large part of public opinion is swaying towards the Lyon-born striker's re-inclusion in the France national team.

Benzema celebra un gol ante Holanda en un partido de 2014

Karim Benzema has not played for France since October 8, 2015, a day in which he scored a brace in the 4-0 win over Armenia.

His recent performances with Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane's admiration for the striker have led to the reopening of debate in France on whether he should be recalled to the national side.

Before his expulsion by Didier Deschamps because of his involvement in the blackmail of Lyon player Mathieu Valbuena over a sex-tape in 2015, Benzema had scored 27 goals in 81 games for Les Bleus.

His exclusion was first justified by the sex-tape scandal and then further justified by his poor performances with Real Madrid.

But with Benzema’s resurgence, coupled with Antoine Griezmann’s contrasting situation at Barcelona, a large part of public opinion is swaying towards the Madrid striker's re-inclusion in the national team.

Benzema has not played for France since October, 2015.

Benzema is best French striker: L’Equipe survey

In a survey conducted by L’Equipe which asked if Karim Benzema has been the best French striker since the beginning of the season, an overwhelming 73% said yes; 24% said no; while 3% were undecided.

Madrid boss Zidane is in agreement with L’Equipe’s readers, saying last week that he believed it was time for Benzema to be recalled to international duty.

“From a football point of view, he's the best. I think he should definitely have a place in the French national team. It's beyond my role here, but he should definitely be called up,” said the French coach.

The French striker has participated in 48 percent of Real Madrid's goals LaLiga, the highest such figure of his entire career. L'Equipe interprets Zidane's words as "recognition, admiration, perhaps regret: he cannot say anything else about Benzema at this time. Benzema is the king, but he suggests, in turn, that other factors drain the debate.”