Karim Benzema is set to wear the France shirt again. Real Madrid's main figure has been missing Didier Deschamps' shortlists for a long time, but he is expected to be finally returning to the team ahead of the upcoming Euro 2020. His almost six-year absence had nothing to do with his work on the pitch.
He has been sidelined due to a controversial episode that took part a few months before the Euro 2016. Benzema was accused of putting pressure on Mathieu Valbuena to pay blackmailers who threatened him with releasing an intimate tape. In October, the player will face trial on the charge of conspiracy to attempt blackmail, which he has firmly denied.
That didn't prevent him to keep on dazzling in La Liga. His form has been even more impressive since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure, as the Frenchman filled in his shoes in great fashion and began to carry the team almost all by himself. Finally, after consistently performing at his best, he is set to lead France's attack again.
France welcomes back Benzema, although the scandal isn't over
It's been a long time since France have last seen one of their most talented players feature with their colors. A key piece for Deschamps' first years at the helm, Karim Benzema last played with Les Bleus on October 8, 2015, in a comfortable 4-0 win over Armenia in which he scored a brace.
The striker, however, has been on the eye of the storm after the sex tape scandal was all over the news and has been left out of high-profile events such as Euro 2016 that was held in France and the 2018 World Cup. France still went on to reach the European Championship final and then tasted glory in Russia without Benzema, but his performances with Real Madrid kept being outstanding.
Many years later, as he still proves to be in great form despite his 33 years of age, the Merengues' fascinating goalscorer is about to join Deschamps once again, even though there has been some tension between them over the last years.
Benzema's stats in this campaign are mind-blowing. He has 29 goals and eight assists in 45 games so far, as he hopes to carry Zinedine Zidane's team to a back-to-back La Liga title. The opportunity of naming 26 players instead of 23 gave Deschamps more room to consider the striker's return, as he wouldn't have to leave out any member of the world champion squad.
Almost six years later, with a European Championship, a World Cup, and a pandemic in between, a 33-year-old Karim Benzema will have another shot at the French national team ahead of an exciting Euro 2020. Will he help Les Bleus to claim the trophy in his long-awaited return to the team?