REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Benzema responds to FFF: "I prefer to laugh"

The Real Madrid forward wasn't in conciliatory mood after FFF president Noel Le Graët praised the Les Bleus outcast for his stellar club season.

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has not accepted what could be seen as an olive branch from France Football Federation chief Noel Le Graët. Benzema has not played for his country since before Euro 2016 when he was omitted from the squad over his alleged involvement in the so-called Valbuena Case, a sex tape scandal that rocked Les Bleus and effectively ended the forward’s international career.

Le Graët, Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps and Benzema have been at loggerheads ever since, with the Real Madrid striker publicly calling out the FFF president after his omission from France’s World Cup-winning squad in 2018 for “tactical reasons.” Last November, Le Graët said Benzema would never represent France again, leading the 32-year-old to suggest he would switch his allegiance to Algeria instead.

Benzema not feeling the Bleus

On Thursday, Le Graët heaped praise on Benzema in an interview with RMC Sport: "He's had an exceptional season with Real," the FFF chief said. "I have already congratulated [Zinedine] Zidane who is his coach. He is one of the best players today, over the season he has just completed. 

"The best? It is not up to me to judge because I haven't seen all the games, but in my opinion he had the best season of his career." 

Later on Thursday, Benzema responded on social media, writing simply: “I prefer to laugh about it.”