Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has been banned from playing for the national side and could miss out on Euro 2016 because of the criminal charges against him, but the FFF (France Football Federation) president is adamant in his support for the player.
The 28-year-old Real Madrid striker has criminal charges pending against him following an alleged attempt to blackmail French national teammate Mathieu Valbuena, who plays for Ligue One side Olympique Lyon. He was suspended by the FFF pending the results of the investigation and, if they are not concluded soon, could miss out on the chance to represent his country at Euro 2016.
The FFF president, Noel Le Graet, has always expressed his admiration for the player though, and he insists that Benzema deserves leniency.
“Maybe I have protected Karim excessively in this matter, but I really like him and we all make mistakes,” Le Graet told Paris Breizh Media. [via: fourfourtwo.com]
A stupid mistake
Le Graet was apologetic for the French striker’s actions, admitting that he was a person that the president ‘really liked’. He went on to say that the striker was perhaps influenced by other people and got carried away.
“He got carried away by stupidity in this case. He has been stupid like a donkey. But I don’t believe in lecturing people. There are good and bad people in all environments, among teachers, among businessmen, anywhere. Benzema comes from a difficult environment and he got carried away”, he added.
Les Blues need their best striker
Benzema has been in great form for Real Madrid, despite all the controversy surrounding his international career. The Frenchman boasts of all the qualities of a top striker, and coupled with his experience, is the best bet to lead the French side to glory at Euro 2016.
In his absence, Les Blues do have the options of Anthony Martial or Olivier Giroud up front, but they would definitely prefer having the attacking option of Karim Benzema to add more firepower to the lineup. It remains to be seen if he is cleared of the charges pending against him in time for the big tournament.