The Real Madrid striker is back with his country after a six-year absence and he can finally team up with the young PSG star
Karim Benzema says he’s looking forward to finally linking up with Kylian Mbappe after the Real Madrid star was confirmed as part of France’s squad for the Euros.
Benzema is back with France for the first time in six years, having been absent from the team since 2015 in the wake of his alleged involvement in the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape scandal.
Having shined with Real Madrid ever since, Benzema is now back in the fold after several productive talks with head coach Didier Deschamps, and he’s looking forward to playing in a squad featuring several World Cup-winning attackers.
What did Beznema have to say?
“It’s clear I’ve had a lot of feedback,” he told Onze Mondial. “It can be only easy [to play with Mbappe]. It’s true that he’s a young player, but very, very talented.
“I like his movements, how he plays football. Now it’s up to us to get along well on the pitch, but anyway, I have no doubts about that.
“Still, we should not focus on the Mbappe-Benzema duo. There are many very talented players in this team: [Antoine] Griezmann, [Olivier] Giroud, [Paul] Pogba, [Ousmane] Dembele, [Kingsley] Coman, [Wissam] Ben Yedder.
“The danger can come from anywhere and that is so much better for France.”
‘A source of pride’
Benzema’s return to the national team will see him represent his country for the first time since 2015, having been left off of the team’s World Cup-winning squad in 2018 as well as the Euros squad in 2016.
The Real Madrid star alleged that he was left off due to racism, but he has since mended any burned bridges with Deschamps.
Valbuena himself has also weighed in on the decision, saying he is at peace with Benzema’s inclusion and Deschamps’ decision to call him in.
Benzema, meanwhile, is thrilled to be back with France as he’s looking forward to finally earning his 82nd cap after so many years away.
“It’s more than being happy; it’s a source of pride,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for this for a while. I have always worked, I never gave up, never let go. In the end, it’s a reward.
“I’m super happy, I can’t wait to be there, to train, to start the games. It’s a team with such talents, such players, and I too want to play on this team.”