Karim Benzema has announced across his social media accounts that he will be retiring from international duties with France. This comes after a World Cup shrowded in controversy, which ultimately led to the Real Madrid player having to leave the training camp due to injury.
This Monday, the Real Madrid striker announced his retirement from his national side, France. This announcement comes the day after the 2022 World Cup came to a close.
Benzema was not able to play a part in this tournament after sustaining an injury before Les Bleus’ first game of the competition, which ultimately forced him to leave the training camp, and leaving him without game time in Qatar.
His international career has been full of highs and lows, making his debut on the 28 March 2007, against Austria. He continued to play a part in subsequent tournaments, such as the 2010 World Cup, but appearances were blighted by controversies.
Before the 2016 Euros, it was announced that Benzema was not going to play any part in the squad, which was what similarly occured for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Real Madrid player, who won the Ballon d’Or award in October, had been desperate to feature in Qatar having not been selected when France won the World Cup 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 over a sextape involving his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena. In a trial last year he was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence and fined 75,000 euros.
For the Qatar World Cup, coach Didier Deschamps opted not to call up a replacement and France still had depth in their squad, particularly in an attack led by 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe.
Karim made his reappearance into the France squad in 2021 in time for the Euros 2020, which did not have the fairytale ending he had hoped for, as France were knocked out in the last-16 against Switzerland.
All in all, the talisman scored 37 goals in his international career, playing 97 times. This makes him one of the most successful French strikers of all time.
He announced it by saying “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“.