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How did Benzema react to Deschamps’ interview on France World Cup injury?

Karim Benzema has taken aim at Didier Deschamps after the France head coach gave his version of the striker’s withdrawal from Les Bleus’ squad for Qatar 2022.

Karim Benzema has taken aim at Didier Deschamps after the France head coach gave his version of the striker’s withdrawal from Les Bleus’ squad for Qatar 2022.

Karim Benzema has hit out at Didier Deschamps after the France head coach said the decision to remove the striker from Les Bleus’ World Cup squad was made with the 35-year-old’s agreement.

What audacity,” the Real Madrid star wrote on Instagram, accompanying his post with a ‘clown’ emoji.

Benzema could have played at World Cup, player’s camp says

A thigh injury saw Benzema leave the French camp three days before the team’s tournament opener in November, but the player’s agent, Karim Djaziri, claimed after the World Cup that his client could have been fit for the start of the knockout stages in Qatar. “Why ask him to leave so quickly?” Djaziri said in a tweet published on Boxing Day.

On 19 December, the day after France lost the World Cup final to Argentina, Benzema announced his retirement from international duty.

Striker knew World Cup was over, Deschamps claims

Asked in an interview with Le Parisien on Friday whether a final decision on Benzema’s fitness was taken too hastily, Deschamps said: “It’s an insult to us to say that. In every situation, there’s only one truth and Karim knows that.

“He joined up with us on 14 November, after a period of semi-inactivity at his club. He followed an individual training programme; his return to group training was postponed. As was also the case with Raphaël [Varane], I was not only focused on having him back for the opening match against Australia.

“When Karim got injured, our doctor took him to the Aspetar clinic for a scan. Karim forwarded the results to someone in Madrid, who also gave him an opinion. When he got back to the hotel, it was already after midnight. I joined Karim in his room with our doctor, who had come to report back on the scan.

Karim was upset, because this World Cup meant a lot to him. He said to me: ‘It’s dead’. Our doctor’s diagnosis matched the one he got from Madrid: in the best-case scenario, he wouldn’t return to training until 10 December [the final day of the quarter-finals].

“When I left him, I said to him: ‘Karim, there’s no rush. You sort out your return [from Qatar] with the team manager.’ When I woke up, I found out that he had left. It’s his decision, I understand and respect it.”

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Benzema reiterates retirement decision

Deschamps also revealed to Le Parisien that he spoke to Benzema after extending his contract as France boss in January, and was told that the player remained determined not to represent his country anymore.

“We had a long chat and I asked him about his willingness to return,” Deschamps said. “He confirmed to me his decision to call time on his international career. Don’t ask me about his reasons. It’s down to him whether or not he makes them known.”


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