Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema has said he is aiming for a trophy with France after being recalled to the provisional Euro 2020 squad following a controversial six-year international exile.
The prolific star, sidelined by Les Bleus since 2015 for his alleged role in a blackmail plot, missed France’s 2018 World Cup victory and race to the Euro 2016 final at home.
Benzema, 33, told L’Equipe he was “proud” of his call-up, following talks with French coach Didier Deschamps earlier this month.
“I want to win a trophy with the France team,” he said, adding that he hoped to “bring a little extra” to the World Cup winners.
Benzema, who has 27 goals in 81 international matches, was named the best French foreign player of the season last week by the country’s players’ association.
He has been Real Madrid’s leading scorer with 29 goals this season, passing 20 league goals in the three seasons since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus in 2018.
Benzema has repeatedly criticized Deschamps and the French Football Federation for being abandoned, citing racism as a factor in his withdrawal from the Euro 2016 squad.
But he said those differences were in the past after his conversation with the coach.
“We said a lot of things. Things we needed to say for a long time. It was a good explanation, with important words, ”said Benzema.
He added: “I am not coming to the France team to eclipse anyone or take anyone’s place. … I am here to bring what I know. “
France launches its Euro 2020 campaign against Germany, triple winner in Munich on June 15, and also faces Hungary and Portugal holders in Group F.
© 2021 AFP