Karim Benzema has announced his retirement from the national team but could return if Zinedine Zidane takes charge. Didier Deschamps does not want to leave, but will only extend the contract for four, not two years. Benjamin Pavard quarreled with the rest of the players and, possibly, leaked insiders from the dressing room to the press, while Aurélien Tchouameni and Kingsley Coman were subjected to racist insults. Gazeta.Ru talks about the situation in the French national team after its defeat in the 2022 World Cup final.
The defeat against Argentina in the World Cup final after a dramatic match (2-2 in regular time, 3-3 after extra time) in a penalty shootout hit the French national football team hard.
The Tricolors, who came to Qatar as current world champions, did not initially look like the main favorites. The reason for this was the failures on the field (including the failure at Euro 2020), as well as internal contradictions.
Not the most pleasant stories and even scandals haunted the two-time world champions throughout the tournament and flared up with renewed vigor after it, despite the team’s powerful football and a solid result.
The tournament turned into a real drama for Karim Benzema. The veteran striker, who received the Ballon d’Or this year, healed muscle injuries during the first part of the club season, and then even seemed to be on his guard, missing the games of Real Madrid. The “royal club”, according to the Spanish media, they were not very happy with this.
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And in the end, Benzema never played in the World Cup. The striker suffered another injury during the training process in preparation for the tournament, and Didier Deschamps sent him to Real Madrid.
At the same time, the player himself did not understand the decision of the head coach, who expelled the star forward, but did not take anyone in return in the application, although this was possible. At the same time, Benzema himself wanted to stay on the national team, to be treated and, possibly, to recover for the decisive games of the tournament.
After the end of the World Cup, the 35-year-old striker announced his retirement from the national team.
At the same time, the striker’s entourage blames the coach for the damage itself, because the day before he received it, Benzema trained with maximum intensity.
Interestingly, when arriving at the national team, a misunderstanding arose between the owner of the Golden Ball and the medical staff of the tricolors. The medical staff wanted to conduct an in-depth medical examination, but the attacker refused, as he “knows his body and all its problems thoroughly.”
One way or another, Benzema did not perform at the World Cup and, probably, was very offended, because he even rejected the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron to attend the final match of the 2022 World Cup as a spectator.
Deschamps himself had enough excitement without Benzema. The mentor of the French team arrived at the World Cup under great pressure. He never said that he wanted to finish his work on the national team, but he would not have been forgiven for the second failed major tournament in a row. But there was also an unsuccessful League of Nations.
Everything was aggravated by the presence of a very concrete and obvious, and besides, a very strong successor. He, of course, is Zinedine Zidane .
The ex-coach of Real Madrid, having left the club two years ago, did not work anywhere else, despite a large number of rumors. According to media insider information, Zizou is waiting for an invitation from the national team, which he dreams of leading.
However, after the Tricolor reached the final in Qatar and the proximity to the championship title, the ball seemed to be on Deschamps’ side.
According to the same L’Equipe, the current head coach of the national team is ready to extend the contract with the French Football Federation (FFF), but will do this only if the new agreement is calculated before the end of the World Cup – 2026, and not until the end of Euro — 2024.
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In January, Deschamps will meet with FFF President Noel Le Gré, after which everything will become clear.
At the same time, the arrival of Zidane in the national team is likely to change the decision of Benzema, who has always treated the specialist with great reverence and enjoyed working with him at Real Madrid. And it’s both.
“Is he (Benzema) the best striker in the history of French football? Everyone has their favorite player. Some will say that it is Papin with his exceptional goals, others will talk about Platini,” Zizou said in a recent long interview.
For me, it’s Karim. Yes, including because I was next to him and I know what he is worth. He deserves a very high rating. I wish him to break records for a long time and shine on the field, with Madrid, and with the French team. He can go even higher.”
The contradictions in the camp of the French team do not end there. The ubiquitous media report that not everyone was happy about Benzema’s return to the national team, which took place in 2020 before the European Championship, five years after the Mathieu Valbuena scandal.
So, the main goalkeeper and team captain Hugo Lloris, as well as the key field player, defensive forward Antoine Griezmann, did not express any enthusiasm.
Moreover, now there is even a video in which the entire team is sitting at a long table, and Deschamps is giving a speech on the occasion of the return of Benzema, and Lloris and Griezmann are present with sour faces, clearly not feeling happy.
True, Lloris, after losing to Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final, may well end his career in the national team. If this happens, then the top scorer of the World Cup and the main star of the “tricolor” Kylian Mbappe should become the captain. Which is just very friendly with Benzema.
And even this discord in the team is not exhausted. For example, during the tournament, after the first match, he moved from the start to a deaf reserve and never again entered the field Benjamin Pavard.
The defender of Bayern, who brilliantly held the world forum four years ago in Russia and even scored the most beautiful goal of the tournament (by the way, in the 1/8 finals against Argentina), made a gross mistake against Australia, already in the 9th minute for some reason than without running after your player and allowing him to open an account.
France won, but the player reacted inadequately to the claims of the coaching staff, saying harsh words to Deschamps. And although the same Lloris and Olivier Giroud (another “friend” of Benzema) stood up for Pavard, the defender did not play anymore.
At the same time, he sat on the bench and made caustic comments that his teammates did not like. Especially during the final. And besides, other players of the national team believe that it was Pavard who leaked information from the locker room to his familiar journalist.
And after losing a penalty shoot-out, racism in social networks was subjected to not scoring black football players in France, Kingsley Coman and Aurélien Tchouameny. Both eventually turned off the ability for subscribers to comment on their posts. Randal Colo-Mouani did the same, converting his penalty.