Zidane hails potential Benzema return to France as ‘good news’

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The Real Madrid striker hasn’t played for Les Bleus for more than five years but could return to the picture soon

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane says it is “good news” that Karim Benzema can make his return to France.
Benzema hasn’t played for Les Bleus since November 2015, when he won the last of his 81 caps.

The Real Madrid star has since been banned from the national team’s schedule, with the forward facing trial over a blackmail case linked to a sex tape that allegedly involved former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

In this case, Benzema is accused of trying to extort money from the Olympiacos star ahead of a friendly against Armenia five years ago.

Michel Moulin, one of the candidates competing against the outgoing president of the FFF, Noel Le Graet, has promised that he will work to bring Benzema back to the France team.

And Zidane, who has offered his “full support” to the forward amid his problem off the pitch, says he would be eager to see Benzema return.

“That Benzema can return to the France team is good news,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

ZIdane also spoke about another striker currently on the Real Madrid books, Luka Jovic.

The forward is set to leave the Bernabeu on loan this month and return to former club Eintracht Frankfurt.

Jovic has only scored two goals in 32 appearances since joining Real Madrid, but Zidane says he still believes the young striker can grow into a solid player.

“Jovic is a striker who scores goals, that’s his particularity,” he said. “He is 21 years old, we only understand that. This is what we expect from him.

“He was unlucky, he had difficulties, adaptations, injuries. At 21, it’s not easy. You have to learn a lot of things. ”

Real Madrid are currently second in La Liga, behind rivals Atletico Madrid by four points after also making two more appearances.

Before returning to the league, Zidane’s side will face Athletic Club in the Supercopa de Espana semi-final on Thursday.

“When we do a little worse, there are always criticisms, and that won’t change,” Zidane said. “In a season there are ups and downs, but we always try to do better, that’s what we will try tomorrow.

“We hope the season will gradually improve. ”

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