Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema’s absence from the French national team continues to go on after manager Didier Deschamps once again omitted him from the squad for the World Cup 2018 qualification.
France managed to come within a whisker of lifting the Euro 2016 and this was largely achieved despite the team being without star players like Benzema. Manager Deschamps made it clear that he would be taking discipline as a priority over quality and this seems to have paid off for the national team after a long wait. They may have missed out on the title, butDeschamps has cleared the path for a bright future.
Just when it seemed that France would build on from the success, there have been calls for striker Benzema to be brought back to the national team.Deschamps was slightly doubtful that Benzema may not be available for the game against Belarus and the fears have been proved right. Apart from struggling with a back injury, it seems that the French national team is still not convinced that the 28-year-old has changed his ways sufficiently in order to become a regular with the national team. Since making his debut in 2007, Benzema has featured in 81 matches for the national team.
“He’s been available for selection for a while. He was available for selection for the Euros so his status hasn’t changed.I didn’t select him for the Euros. He was available for selection, like he is still available for selection today. But it’s up to me to select him or not. I’m going to be honest with you — even if he had been available today, I wouldn’t have picked him for this squad because I don’t think it’s the time for him to return to the French team,” said the national team manager.