Benzema taught “a good lesson” with omission from France team
French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet claims Karim Benzema’s omission from the France’s final World Cup qualifier during this international break should be “a good lesson” for the striker. Benzema ended up with another goalless game in a 0-0 draw against Georgia, which extended his goalscoring drought to 15 months.
Due to his poor performance at the international level France manager Didier Deschamps decided to throw Benzema under the bus in the final World Cup qualifier. Benzema watched from the bench as his compatriots played against Belarus on Tuesday. This was the first time Benzema has been kicked out from the team when he was available for duty since he broke into the first-team in 2009.
In Benzema’s absence Les Bleus came back from behind twice to end the 90-minute game with a 4-2 scoreline. In an interview to RMC, La Graet admitted that the benching-experience might be painful for Benzema, but it might be something that will spur the Real Madrid star back into form for his nation.
“I think it's a good lesson for him. I'm not a specialist in football, but I love it, and I love the player a lot. He's a massive player for me. That said, he's stuck a little with the French team whereas at Real Madrid, he plays regularly and scores goals in the league and the Champions League,” said La Graet, who insists no one should doubt Benzema’s desire to help France perform better.
“He loves it, otherwise he wouldn't come and would invent injuries. He's a lovely bloke. A game on the bench won't do him any harm. He saw his friends play well and win without him.”
With Benzema on the field Deschamps put Olivier Giroud and Benzema up front in a 4-4-2 formation, but seeing that his approach bore no fruit at Tbilisi Deschamps decided to revert to 4-2-3-1 at Belarus. La Graet believes Benzema will be back to his best in no time at all. La Graet insists that Deschamps still has faith in the striker and that he is still one of the best players in the team.
“Karim Benzema is a talented player,” La Graet added. “He's not been effective nor lucky in recent games. He didn't play but it doesn't mean he won't come back. Didier Deschamps will continue to follow him at Real Madrid. We're all obliged to get results. The players are also obliged to put in performances. When they don't, Didier has to make a choice.”