In light of his first call-up for France in six years, Karim Benzema has confessed that it came as a shock to him with Didier Deschamps saying nothing to him in a conversation prior to that. The Real Madrid striker had been frozen out of the team and missed out on the 2016 Euros and 2018 World Cup.
While reports and rumours indicated the possibility that Karim Benzema was set to make the cut for France at the 2020 Euros, nobody believed it until Didier Deschamps released his final squad. It saw the 33-year-old a part of the final 26 man squad with that Benzema’s first call up since 2015. The Real Madrid striker had been frozen out of the team for his part in a blackmail scandal that involved former international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
While Benzema has denied any involvement, Deschamps hasn’t picked him which saw the forward miss out on the 2016 Euros and the 2018 World Cup. However, things have now changed with Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe joined by the 33-year-old and he admitted that it was a special day for him. However, Benzema also added that it came as a shock because of the time and he feels pride for the fact that he never gave up.
"It was a special day. I received a lot of messages, there were rumours. I was waiting like everyone else, in front of the TV. I was really happy... It happened really fast, it was a feeling of joy and pride. I remembered all the moments when I never gave up. It was a little shock, it's been a long time!” Benzema said, reported ESPN.
The reason few believed that Benzema wouldn’t be picked was because the forward and Deschamps reportedly have a rocky relationship which saw the 33-year-old frozen out in the first place. But Benzema refuted those claims and admitted that they have always gotten along well but at the same time, revealed that Deschamps didn’t tell him that he was picked.
"Deschamps didn't tell me. We talked a lot, it was a long conversation, but he never said to me: 'You'll be at the Euros.' The only thing he said was that we'd taken a big step together and that we'd see. We were face-to-face. We hadn't seen each other since 2015. It was good to talk, I've always gotten on well with him, after three minutes everything was back to normal,” he added.