Deschamps and Benzema: a broken relationship
According to L’Équipe, the striker has not been in contact with the coach since he left Doha. He will not attend Sunday’s World Cup final against Argentina.
Karim Benzema and Didier Deschamps have once again broken off a relationship that seemed, at least on the outside, to have been reestablished following the striker’s return to the national team in June 2021. However, according to L’Équipe, the Real Madrid player has not been in contact with national team medical staff since he left Doha on 20 November after suffering a thigh muscle injury - an injury that prevented him from playing in the World Cup. Even if Deschamps decides to renew his contract after the tournament, which is feasible, it is not guaranteed that Benzema will be included in the squad list when the next international break comes around.
Since Benzema’s injury, there have been questions raised outside of the France camp about the possibility of the player returning should be recover. Deschamps didn’t call up a replacement -a move that only stoked rumors that perhaps he had reserved a place for the current Ballon d’Or winner, who could join up with the squad once he was fit, depending on how far France advanced in the tournament. But in his classic, ironic tone, Deschamps refused to answer a single question about Benzema. Furthermore, according to L’Équipe, the French Football Federation never considered calling him back.
Benzema’s plan was to stay in Qatar and recover from his injury there rather than return to Madrid. However, Deschamps’ message was clear right from the start. The 54-year-old coach decided to kill two birds with one stone. Giroud, who had receded into the background since Benzema’s return in June 2021, was handed a more prominent role while Griezmann assumed leadership of the team. Although nobody has dared to speak publicly, in France there is talk of players who feel more comfortable without Benzema in the national team.
You might also enjoy
The lack of transparency along with the tight secrecy surrounding Real Madrid and the French Football Federation with little or no information about the footballer’s injury being disclosed has not helped either. Benzema’s entourage, whose presence in this Sunday’s final is practically ruled out, do not understand why the player’s thigh injury has been handled so poorly. They argue that the FFF could quite easily have waited a week to determine whether Benzema might have recovered in time to play in the latter stages, which was what the player had hoped.
Deschamps’ relationship with Benzema turned cold years, and now may well have reached a stage were it is beyond repair. That will complicate the Madrid player’s role within the national team if Deschamps renews. The coach might decide to continue until 2024 and make the decision never to call up a player who, despite recently winning the Ballon d’Or, is already 34 years old.
To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?