Karim Benzema retires from international football after France's defeat to Argentina in FIFA World Cup 2022 final
Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema has announced his retirement from international football after France's heartbreaking defeat to Lionel Messi-led Argentina in the FIFA World Cup 2022 final.
Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema has announced his retirement from international football after France's heartbreaking defeat to Lionel Messi-led Argentina in the FIFA World Cup 2022 final on Sunday. A day after Kylian Mbappe-starrer France were upstaged by Argentina in the final of the Qatar World Cup, Benzema confirmed that he has bid farewell to international football.
“I made the effort and the mistakes it took to be where I am today and I'm proud of it! I have written my story and ours is ending,” Benzema said in a cryptic post on Twitter. Benzema, who is celebrating his 35th birthday today, was ruled out of the FIFA World Cup 2022 on the eve of France's campaign opener in Qatar. The veteran French forward won the Ballon d'Or award after a stellar 2021-2022 season with Real Madrid.
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Benzema recently recovered from a thigh injury and the veteran forward was in speculation about re-joining France's FIFA World Cup camp for the summit clash against Argentina. Even though France refused to add a like-for-like replacement for the Real Madrid captain in its World Cup squad, a fit-again Benzema didn't return to the Les Bleus camp for the summit clash at Lusail Stadium.
Benzema emerged as France's top scorer at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Real Madrid superstar was exiled from the national team for his alleged involvement in a sex tape scandal with former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena. Later, France head coach Deschamps repaired his relationship with Benzema as the veteran forward received a call-up for the UEFA Euro 2020 last year. France's leading goal scorer at the previous edition of the UEFA Euro, Benzema scored 10 goals in 16 games after making a sensational return to international football.
Benzema, who will continue to lead Real Madrid's attack across all competitions, played 97 games and scored 37 goals for France in the international arena. The 35-year-old has recorded only 12 appearances for Los Blancos in the 2022-23 season. In the absence of star striker Benzema, Didier Deschamps' France were upstaged by Messi-inspired Argentina 4-2 on penalties in the FIFA World Cup 2022 final on Sunday.