Karim Benzema cannot return to the French squad despite being one of the most fit strikers in the world for Real Madrid … but, like Eric Cantona and David Ginola, his international exile will not end.
- Karim Benzema is back in top form and produces some of his best football games
- The 31-year-old has turned back the years to Real Madrid and is scoring fun
- Zinedine Zidane has rekindled the debate over whether France is foolish to despise him
- Benzema's relationship with France is confusing and resulted in international exile
- Like Eric Cantona and David Ginola before him, Benezma will probably never return.
- Algeria seems to despise Benzema after attacker acts to change loyalty
Zinedine Zidane may have been able to rekindle the debate over whether or not France is crazy to ignore Karim Benzema's talents – but it would probably lead Zizou to leave Real Madrid and replace Didier Deschamps to really recover Benzema from the team.
While it may be true that Benzema player-by-player is a better bet than Olivier Giroud, Deschamps is winning games and tournaments without him and is not under enough pressure to forget past defeats and regain the Real Madrid striker.
As Benzema continues to be ignored, it is worth remembering that France has history when it comes to leaving out some of its most talented players.
Karim Benzema is producing the form that would lead him to an automatic choice of Euro 2020.
However, his complex relationship with France means that his international exile must continue.
Just ask Eric Cantona and David Ginola what it's like to be outside looking – without love and without forgiveness.
Few strikers in world football have performed better in the last 12 months than Benzema. In the last round of Champions League games, he scored his 62nd goal in the competition. Now only Raul, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored more in the European Cup.
Since Ronaldo left Real Madrid, Benzema has had a better scoring record than his former attacking partner. He is the only player who has really taken an interest in the club since it sold the Portuguese.
He is playing the kind of football that would take him to any of the other 23 final teams for Euro 2020 next summer, but it was greeted with a shrug from Deschamps and the French Football Federation.
France boss Didier Deschamps is winning without Benezma and doesn't move in his position
Real Madrid striker trains alongside Mathieu Valbuena in 2013 before the saga begins
They are not giving in to the decision to abandon him after his suspension for alleged involvement in an attempt to blackmail international colleague Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape in 2015.
French soccer president Noel Le Graet even said last week: "Your time in France is over."
For Cantona and Ginola there was no way back either. In 1996, when Aime Jacquet chose his squad for the Euros in England, Cantona had just been voted Footballer of the Year and won her fourth Premier League title, but Jacquet was not moved by a clamor to remember him.
Cantona was the first captain named Jacquet when he took over the French team, but the armband was taken from him when he was banned for assaulting a spectator at Selhurst Park and France were unbeaten in 20 games in his absence.
Ginola had fallen out of favor with Jacquet long before.
In 1993, against 50,000 players at the Parc des Princes, he replaced Jean-Pierre Papin in a game against Bulgaria, which France needed to draw to qualify for the following summer's World Cup.
David Ginola found himself in international exile after his nightmare show against Bulgaria
Eric Cantona, who was also involved in the defeat in Bulgaria, had his own indifference to France.
A short free kick was made for him and, with the score at 1-1, all he had to do was keep him in the corner and delay the clock. Instead, he ran over an intersection in an almost empty area and Bulgaria broke to score and win the game and leave France watching the US & # 94; on television.
Jacquet was France coach Gerard Houllier's assistant and could be seen head on hands cursing Ginola, who was publicly guilty, warned and never brought back to the international team.
When Jacquet appointed this team of 96, also leaving Papin relentlessly, he said: "I have two priorities – getting the best possible result at Euro 96 and working for the future at the 1998 World Cup in France." To be fair to him, it worked well.
And France will point to similar successes without Benzema reaching the Euro 2016 final and winning the World Cup in Russia without him.
French soccer president Noel Le Graet said Benzema's time with France is over.
The striker struck back at Le Graet and said that alone will end his international career
Benzema replied to Le Graet by saying: 'I and I alone will end my international career'. He even threw the gauntlet: "If you think I'm done, let me play in one of the countries I'm eligible for and we'll see."
It seems unlikely that he has a chance for another country or that France coach Deschamps's line will move away from Le Graet.
He has not yet forgotten how Benzema suggested that he be left out of the Euro 2016 team (after the suspension of his suspension) is based on the coach giving in to the racist part of French football.
Deschamps was charged with racism following Benzema's comments and even had his house stained with graffiti.
It's too ugly to be solved in time for next summer's Euros, no matter how beautiful it is to see Benzema, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe on the same team.
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