Karim Benzema is set to be named in the France EURO 2020 squad, as Didier Deschamps has made a huge u-turn after a six-year hiatus for the Real Madrid star.
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Benzema, 33, hasn’t played for Les Bleus since 2015 due to his involvement in a criminal case for alleged blackmail, as he is currently awaiting trial.
Due to his alleged involvement in the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape scandal, Benzema and Deschamps fell out and the striker hasn’t played for France since.
However, multiple reports from France state that Benzema will be given a shock call-up by Deschamps when the 26-man squad is announced later on May 18.
Does this move make sense for France?
The Real Madrid striker has had a fine season for his club side and with Olivier Giroud struggling for minutes at Chelsea and Antoine Griezmann again struggling at Barcelona, this is a sensible choice.
Benzema has scored 86 goals in 146 games for Real Madrid over the last three seasons and this season in particular he has been hugely impressive as he’s tried to lead Real to back-to-back La Liga titles.
Quite how this situation will play out remains to be seen as French politicians previously stated that Benzema should not play for the national team.
However, many believe that Benzema should have been included by Deschamps and the French Football Federation during the last two tournaments, as the player has said the entire situation regarding Valbuena has been blown out of proportion.
Of course, France won the last major tournament, the 2018 World Cup, so they have been doing just fine without him.
But if Benzema’s return is confirmed, it will give them a huge boost this summer at the European Championships.
France are in a tough group with reigning champions Portugal (who beat them in the EURO 2016 final in Paris), Germany and Hungary alongside them in Group F.
With Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele around, you’d think that France have enough firepower to make a deep run this summer, but Benzema will give them experience and class in the final third.
That counts for a lot in tournament play.