Zidane Advocates For Benzema Recall Into France Squad
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane believes Karim Benzema deserves a recall into the French national team.
The 31-year-old has not featured for France since 2015 after he was banished for allegedly trying to blackmail Les Bleus teammate Mathieu Valbuena in a sex-tape scandal.
Last month, France manager Didier Deschamps, ruled out a return to the national team for Benzema despite his superb club form for Real Madrid.
Benzema has scored nine goals and provided three assists in all competitions for Real Madrid this season.
The former Olympique Lyon striker’s two goals against Galatasaray in midweek took him above club legend Alfredo di Stefano to become Real Madrid’s third all-time top scorer in Champions League history, and Zidane believes his performances warrant a place in the France team.
"He's always wanted to play for the French side," Zidane told a news conference ahead of Real Madrid’s trip to Eibar on Saturday.
"To be honest, I don't know exactly what's going on.
"But 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."
Benzema was not called up when France hosted the UEFA European Championships in 2016 while he was also missing in action in Russia last year when Les Bleus were crowned world champions for a second time.
Benzema made his French national team debut in 2007 and has gone on to make 81 appearances for his country, scoring 27 goals.