French striker Karim Benzema could come out of international retirement if Didier Deschamps is replaced by Zinedine Zidane, according to French news outlet Foot Mercato.
The Real Madrid star announced his international retirement on Monday, just a day after Les Bleus lost to Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final.
While the striker was initially called up to Deschamps’ 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar, he had to pull out with a thigh injury on the day the event kicked off in a huge blow to France.
There were rumors that he could make a return sometime during the World Cup, even for the final, but Deschamps poured cold water over all such speculation by confirming that Benzema isn’t joining the squad.
Karim Benzema could decide to return to the France national team if Didier Deschamps was replaced by Zinedine Zidane.
(Source: @footmercato )
On Monday, just a day after Argentina pipped France for the title in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout, Karim Benzema put out a message on social media saying that his ‘story’ with the team is over.
However, in a massive boost for his supporters, Foot Mercato reports that the 35-year-old could play for France again if Zidane replaces Deschamps as the French national team coach.
Zidane is currently waiting in the wings to become the next manager of the two-time world champions, having refused offers from many clubs, including from Paris Saint-Germain, since leaving Real Madrid in 2021.
Deschamps, who led France to back-to-back World Cup finals having also won the 2018 edition in Russia, recently revealed that he will decide on his future after meetings with the French Football Federation in January.
If he decides to step down, Zidane could be next in line for the job and his appointment could pave the way for Karim Benzema’s return to the national team given their close relationship since their time together at Real Madrid.
Having made his debut in 2007, Benzema earned 97 caps with France, scoring 37 goals and played at four major tournaments, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2020.
Karim Benzema could return for Euro 2024
With Euro 2024 just 18 months away, Karim Benzema will have a chance at one last dance with France’s national team at a major tournament.
While he’d be 36 years old by then, he has shown no signs of slowing down and continues to deliver at the top level. If he does return to the French team, he could be a key figure in the side’s attack alongside the likes of Kylian Mbappe.
It will be 24 years since France last won the Henri Delaunay trophy and the two-time world champions will be eager to end the drought.
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