EURO 2020: Karim Benzema Arrives At France’s Clairefontaine Base For His First Call-Up Since 2015 (Photos)
Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema has arrived at France’s Clairefontaine base for his first call-up since 2015.
The 33-year-old joined the squad at France’s Clairefontaine training centre on Wednesday May 26, looking happy and relieved despite his alleged sex-tape blackmail of former team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.
The striker is accused of pressuring Valbuena in 2015 to pay blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video in which Valbuena featured. The scandal led to his ban from the France national team since November 2015.
His six-year exile from the national team over his alleged role in a blackmail plot came to an end last week when he was recalled by Deschamps for this summer’s delayed European Championship.
“It’s a non-event,” insisted Deschamps. “That it interests people on the outside, OK, but for me he is happy to be here, it’s been a long time, he’s refound his footing with the other 21 players.
“He is coming into a group that knows each other, but he has earned his place same as the other players.”
On Tuesday Benzema told sports daily L’Equipe that he wanted to win a trophy with France now that he is back in the fold for the first time since 2015.
The striker has 27 goals in 81 international appearances and was last week named as this season’s best French foreign-based player by the country’s players’ association.
He scored 29 goals this term for Real Madrid, passing 20 league goals in all three seasons since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus in 2018.