One cannot help but assume that France head coach Didier Deschamps hoped that there would be a slight chance that Karim Benzema would recover in time to re-join the French national team for the Fifa World Cup.
The Real Madrid star suffered heartbreak when he got injured ahead of the World Cup in Qatar but instead of giving his squad spot to someone else, Deschamps decided to keep the Real Madrid star in the 26-man list.
This means that Benzema will get a World Cup medal, whether gold or silver as they take on Argentina on Sunday with the hope to become only the third nation to win the World Cup back-to-back.
The script is tailor made for Benzema, really. He is currently the world’s best player after he won the Ballon d’Or a few months ago. He is in ridiculous form for Madrid. It makes sense for Deschamps to call him up for the final.
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Benzema is not quite what Lionel Messi is to Argentina and what Cristiano Ronaldo used to be for Portugal. enzema has not never won any major trophy with Les Bleus. He missed the 2018 World Cup triumph and at the age of 34, this could be his last chance to win an international tournament.
While it would be sensational for Benzema to return to the World Cup only for one game, the player himself, according to reports, feels discouraged by Deschamps’ lack of enthusiasm to have him back in the squad.
In his most recent press conference, Deschamps said: “I take care of 24 players here. I don’t take care of those who are not here, like Kimpembe or Pual Pogba as well. I’m not going to talk about things that do not occupy my day-to-day.”
These sentiments by the head coach are somewhat puzzling. Why would you keep a player in the squad when you have zero intention of bringing him into the team should the opportunity arise, as it has now? Sure, Les Bleus do not need the multiple Uefa Champions League winner to help them win the World Cup.
They reached the final twice now without him, but for the beauty of football, it would be great for Benzema to play in the final. Who knows, he might chip in a goal or two. After all, no player is proud to collect a winners’ when they have not contributed a single bit.
Then again, Benzema is not quite a saint and he does not lick ass either. According to reports in France, the 34-year-old expected his coach to jump on the opportunity to have him in the squad.
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But he didn’t and you can’t blame Benzema for not showing any enthusiasm and opting to potentially snub this glorious opportunity. After all, being rated as the best player in the world, Benzema feels he deserves to be treated with a lot more courtesy.
If you ask Ronaldo or Messi, I have no doubt that they would not mind trading a Ballon d’Or or two in exchange for a Fifa World Cup gold medal. It does not always happen that a player miraculously recovers in time to play a World Cup final.
The story is written in the stars for Benzema and Deschamps needs to make the right call and reinvite the world’s best player to take part in football’s biggest and most important match.