Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has expressed his desire to represent host nation France at the 2016 European Championships next summer, despite being part of a police investigation involving a sex tape of international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena
Karim Benzema was left out of Didier Deschamps’ latest France squad for international friendlies against Germany and England, but believes he still has the backing of the national team manager.
The Real Madrid striker was interviewed by the police last month about his role in the blackmailing of international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex-tape of the Lyon midfielder.
Benzema hoping to represent France at EURO 2016
There have been calls for him to be banned from the national team altogether, but Karim Benzema insists he is not afraid of missing out on next summer’s European Championships in France.
Benzema spoke to French TV channel TF1 about his hopes of playing in the tournament, saying (via Sky Sports): “It is my wish and that of many people. [Valbuena] is a good player, France needs him, like me.
“I’m not afraid [of not playing at Euro 2016] because there are too many things in life to be afraid of. My goal is to play in France’s team. It always has been and I do not want to stop.
“I got a message when [Deschamps] gave the selection. He is behind me, supporting me.”
France need to sort out this issue well before EURO 2016
Very few countries in world football have been as adept at shooting themselves in the foot over the past few years as France. The 2010 FIFA World Cup was an absolute disaster for the French, and it has taken a while to recover from the fall-out of that fateful tournament.
Although there have been issues throughout, such as the estrangement of Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri, France have managed to put together a young, promising squad full of talent under Didier Deschamps. The hosts will be one of the favourites going into the tournament, but must avoid the negative press that will inevitably surround the team if this issue is not swiftly and decisively resolved long before the tournament starts.