Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

'It's over for him' - French federation president closes door on Benzema return

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Cassandra Castillo | 11 October, 2018, 12:58

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has shrugged off the latest round of comments from French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet. "I believe that it's over for him with Les Bleus, especially since he may have been less fit for some time", Le Graet said.

"The Valbuena-Benzema affair had another episode last week, but it is still not over", said Le Graet, referring to an ongoing court case which Benzema's lawyers are trying to get dropped.

Didier Deschamps has not included Benzema in any squad since the case came to light, with the player accusing the coach of bowing "to the pressure of a racist part of France" when ignoring him for Euro 2016.

"Mr. Le Graet, I ask you to forget about me and leave me alone, please", Benzema wrote on his Twitter account. "France are world champions and that is the essential, the rest is futile".

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Benzema, who has 21 goals and 81 caps for France, was not selected for the World Cup and has not figured in a national squad since he was charged for his alleged role in the blackmail of fellow global Mathieu Valbuena.

Benzema, who scored 27 global goals in his 81 appearances with France, asked Le Graet to give him a break in a response posted on Twitter.

"I have nothing against Karim, he has always behaved well in the [national] team, but I think he is finished with Les Bleus, particularly as he has been out of form for a while".

Benzema has scored five goals from 11 outings across all competitions for Real this season after a hard start to life post-Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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