Didier Deschamps spoke for the first time about the hasty departure of Karim Benzema from Les Bleus before the 2022 World Cup, in an interview on Saturday with Le Parisien, explaining that the striker, forfeited through injury, “told him that he would not would not have been ready” for the rest of the tournament, a version ironically challenged by the player on Instagram.
Hit in the thigh, the Ballon d’Or 2022 had to give up the World Cup in Qatar three days before the start of the French team against Australia and had left the hotel in a hurry. in Doha. But he finally resumed training with his club on December 10, four days before the semi-final against Morocco.
“Karim told me himself that he would not have been ready”, underlined the coach of the Blues vice-world champions to the French daily. “When Karim was injured, our doctor accompanied him to the Aspetar clinic for an MRI, also said Deschamps. Karim transmitted the results to someone who follows him in Madrid and who also gave him an opinion. When he returned to the hotel, it was already after midnight. I joined Karim in his room with our doctor who had come to give me the report of the MRI (…) Karim is bruised, because this World Cup meant a lot to him. He said to me: It’s dead.”
“We stayed together for about twenty minutes, added the boss of the Blues. When I left him, I said to him: Karim, there is no urgency. You organize your return with the team manager. When I wake up, I “Learn that he left. It’s his decision, he won’t tell you otherwise, I understand and respect it.”
“But what audacity”
These statements by Didier Deschamps were greeted with irony by Benzema (35 years old, 97 caps, 37 goals), who has since announced his international retirement. On Instagram, the Real striker posted a screenshot containing remarks from the interview, adding the phrase “But what audacity”, embellished with a clown emoji. He also shared the video of a French snapchatteur, Ritchie, who repeats the word “liar, you are a liar”. Above this excerpt, the striker wrote: “Sacré Didier… Good night.”
This pass of arms between Deschamps and Benzema is just one more episode in the tortuous relationship between the two men and that which the player maintained with the France team. Benzema, who has won only one competition with the Tricolores (Nations League in 2021), was banned from the Blues between 2015 and 2021 because of his involvement in the sextape blackmail case exercised on his teammate in selection Mathieu Valbuena. This earned him a one-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros.
Not selected for Euro-2016, he replied in the columns of the Spanish sports daily Marca, saying that “Deschamps gave in under pressure from a racist part of France”.
After his departure from Qatar just before the 2022 World Cup, he also alternated messages of encouragement to the French and other more enigmatic ones like the one posted on Instagram just before the Argentina-France final where he wrote: “that Does not interest me”. He then announced the end of his international career on December 19, 2022, the day after the World Cup final.
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