Benzema announces retirement from international career with France
French football player Karim Benzema announces the ending of his international career with France.
Ballon D'Or winner Karim Benzema announced on Monday that he was ending his international career, a day after France lost the World Cup final to Argentina.
Benzema, who scored 37 goals in 97 appearances for France, had to withdraw from the World Cup squad before their first match in Qatar due to a left thigh injury he suffered from in training.
In his surprise announcement, the 35-year-old Real Madrid player said on Twitter: "I made the effort and the mistakes it took to be where I am today and I'm proud of it! I wrote my story and ours ends."
J’ai fait les efforts et les erreurs qu’il fallait pour être là où je suis aujourd’hui et j’en suis fier !— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) December 19, 2022
J’ai écrit mon histoire et la nôtre prend fin. #Nueve pic.twitter.com/7LYEzbpHEs
Benzema, who won the Ballon d'Or award for the world's best player in October, had been desperate to participate in the 2022 World Cup having not been selected when France became world champions in Russia four years ago.
He was frozen out of the France team for five and a half years because of his involvement in a blackmail scandal involving his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena. In a trial over the affair last year he was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence and fined 75,000 euros ($79,500).
During the tournament, Benzema showed messages of encouragement for France on social media and other more enigmatic ones, writing on Instagram before the final, "I'm not interested."
The message came after he rejected an invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron to attend the World Cup final.
Benzema, who is of Algerian descent, never tasted real glory with France, with only winning the 2021 Nations League. He had numerous run-ins with Didier Deschamps over the years, and at one stage, he hinted that the coach was being "racist" in keeping him out.
He made a surprise return to the France team just before Euro 2021, scoring ten goals in a year, including four in the European Championship.
It is also noteworthy that Benzema has won the Champions League five times with Real Madrid and helped them to four Spanish titles.
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