France coach Didier Deschamps has ruled out the possibility of featuring Karim Benzema in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final against Argentina.
France will take on Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final at the Lusail Stadium at 16:00 on December 18, 2022.
While Les Bleus prepares for a fourth World Cup clash with Argentina, the conversation has shifted to Karim Benzema.
Karim Benzema picked up an injury in France’s World Cup training camp in Qatar. He tore his thigh and was forced out of the tournament.
Didier Deschamps was forced to improvise for the Real Madrid star, starting former Premier League and Serie A forward Olivier Giroud in all games in Qatar.
However, Deschamps refused to shop for a replacement for the Ballon d’Or winner and deadly center-forward, telling reporters: “Because I decided, simply. This is a quality group, united on and off the pitch. I have confidence in them.”
Benzema has recovered fully from injury and was spotted in Real Madrid’s training session. Reports from Spain have confirmed he has been granted permission by Real Madrid to travel to the World Cup in Qatar.
The Real Madrid star would have much worries now if he had planned to join Les Bleus as part of the 25-man France World Cup.
In a post-match press conference, Didier Deschamps was asked whether he will start or bring on Karim Benzema against Argentina in the final if he returned to the team ahead of the game.
Deschamps did not hide his emotions as he dropped a smirk, closed his eyes, followed with a long sigh before dropping a brutal response.
“I don’t really want to answer that question…Next question. I do apologise.”
Now, it is safe to say the likelihood of Karim Benzema breaking into France’s starting lineup on arrival in Qatar is very low.
If he subsequently joins Les Bleus at Lusail Stadium in Qatar, he will either make the stands or join France’s substitute bench against Argentina.
Why coach Didier Deschamps should forget about Karim Benzema:
While the rationale for dropping a player like Giroud, who has made his mark on the tournament for Karim Benzema, has divided French pundits, Didier Deschamps’ reason for not including Karim Benzema is still unknown.
However, there are speculations that Didier Deschamps may be concerned about the records with Benzema in his French squad.
Deschamps reached three major finals in his managerial career with France – Euros 2016, World Cup 2018, and World Cup 2022.
In all those finals, Karim Benzema was not in the squad. The only significant finals that Didier Deschamps has not reached are the World Cup 2014 and Euros 2021. In both tournaments, Karim Benzema was an active member of the squad.
According to reports, news of Didier Deschamps’ potential snub has prompted Karim Benzema to have a rethink on joining the team in Qatar.
According to Bet360, Benzema will not travel to Qatar for the World Cup final since he will not be included in the squad by Didier Deschamps.
However, Daily Mail have confirmed French President Emmanuel Macron has included Benzema in the list of injured players he will take to watch the Word Cup final, with the likes of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante making the list.
Since making his debut with the French national team in 2007, Karim Benzema has made 97 appearances for France, scoring 37 goals.