The forward was named to the France squad last week for this summer’s European Championship, after a stellar season in which he scored 23 goals for Real Madrid in La Liga.
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“It was a special day,” Benzema told L’Equipe. “I received a lot of messages, there were rumors. Like everyone else, I was waiting in front of the TV. I was really happy… It happened very quickly, it was a feeling of joy and pride. I remembered all the times when I never gave up. It was a little shock, it’s been a long time! “
Benzema had been excluded from the national team set up since 2015 after his alleged involvement in the blackmail of former teammate Mathieu Valbuena, whom he denied, and will be tried later this year.
“Deschamps didn’t tell me,” added Benzema. “We talked a lot, it was a long conversation, but he never said to me: ‘You’ll be in the Euros’. The only thing he said was that we had taken a big step together and were going to see.
“We were face to face. We had not seen each other since 2015. It was good to talk, I always got along well with him, after three minutes everything was back to normal. “
Benzema has also backed Zinedine Zidane to remain Madrid coach and defended the team’s record after a 2020-21 season without a trophy.
Zidane – who has a close relationship with Benzema – said he would meet with Madrid bosses “in the coming days” to discuss his future at the Bernabeu.
“He’s a Real Madrid coach right now, isn’t he?” I don’t see him leaving, ”Benzema said.
“He won’t go, you’ll see. If he leaves, he leaves, but at the moment I don’t see Madrid without Zidane.
“He’s always been honest with me. He is very open. That’s why I respect him so much, he’s very direct with me. He’s my trainer, but he’s also like a big brother. “
Madrid finished second in La Liga behind local rivals Atletico Madrid, but won the title race until the last day of the season – after being 10 points behind in January – after a streak of 18 league games without defeat.
“We had 60 injuries,” added Benzema. “At no time have Madrid been able to play with our whole team. Many of them had COVID-19, including Zizou. It was a complicated season. But despite that, we got to the semi-finals of the Champions League and we fought until the end in La Liga. ”