French federation president closes door to Benzema's return

PARIS — Karim Benzema's hopes of returning to France's national soccer team appear to be shrinking.

In an interview with local newspaper Ouest France published Wednesday, French soccer federation president Noel Le Graet played down the Real Madrid striker's chances of a recall.

"I believe that it's over for him with Les Bleus, especially since he may have been less fit for some time," Le Graet said.

Benzema, whose last game with France was in October 2015, has been named in the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or award for the best player of the year. But his relationship with France coach Didier Deschamps remains frosty.

Deschamps has not called up Benzema since he claimed that the national team coach bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France when agreeing to leave him out of the group of players for the 2016 European Championship.

Benzema's suspected involvement in an extortion scam over a sex tape featuring France teammate Mathieu Valbuena also did not help his case.

"It's been three or four years that (this case) has been dragging," Le Graet said. "A ruling should have been issued much earlier. It made things hard for us."

Benzema, who scored 27 international goals in his 81 appearances with France, asked Le Graet to give him a break in a response posted on Twitter.

"Mr. Le Graet I ask you to forget about me and to leave me in peace," Benzema wrote. "France is world champion and that's the essential thing. The rest is just futile. Thank you."


More AP soccer: and

People also read these

Meunier leads Belgium in 9-0 masterclass over...

Aug 31, 2017

Thomas Meunier orchestrated a showtime Belgium performance against the part-timers from Gibraltar...

At 3rd big tourney in a row, Belgium should start...

Sep 4, 2017

Belgium is going to a major tournament for the third straight time and it should start to live up...

Before World Cup, another injury fear for...

Jun 3, 2018

Influential Belgium center back Vincent Kompany is to undergo scans to evaluate the extent of a...

WORLD CUP: Belgium has exceptional talent but so...

Jun 12, 2018

Belgium has the ingredients for success at the World Cup, but injury cloud over Kompany

Father of Kompany elected mayor of Brussels...

Oct 15, 2018

The father of Belgium defender Vincent Kompany will become mayor of a Brussels municipality after...

About Us

The Score Daily brings to you the up-to-date record of your favorite sports team. Whether it is soccer, football, basketball, tennis, or rugby - you can get all the latest news update right here as we’ve got you covered.

Contact us: sales[at]

Subscribe Now!