Karim Benzema, the surprise return of the French team in 2021, is preparing for a busy end of the year, both on and off the field, with the confirmation of qualification for the Qatar-2022 World Cup, a Ballon d’Or at stake and his trial for the blackmail case with a video.
Since his return to the French team in the last European Championship, the Real Madrid forward has improved his image and his statistics, with spectacular and generous football that has not prevented him from scoring six goals in 11 international matches. At 33 he is at the peak of his career.
Three weeks after the awarding of the Ballon d’Or, on November 29 in Paris, ‘KB9’ aspires to overcome the tough competition of the myths Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the winner of the European Championship and the Champions Jorginho and Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich’s scoring machine.
The Frenchman, a semifinalist in the last Champions League with Real Madrid, completed his best season on an individual level. And he has four goals in four European games this season, in addition to 10 and 7 assists in 11 league games.
– Deschamps’ praise –
His coach Didier Deschamps believes in his options. “He is a very serious candidate,” he said at a press conference on Monday, five days before receiving Kazakhstan, with the French team very close to Qatar-2022.
And only six months ago saying Benzema’s name was practically a taboo in the national team …
His reintegration forced the team to renew automation and change a game plan that had been in force for several years. It also generated tensions and frustrations, causing victims, mainly Olivier Giroud, who is not participating in Deschamps’ plans.
“Karim changed our way of playing, which was well established with certain offensive profiles for five years. It cannot be done from one day to the next and especially before a competition like the Eurocup, “said the Milan striker, warning of a” tactical imbalance “in a tournament in which Bleus failed.
The stellar attacking trio formed with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé has been slow to work, but finally fit, with the victory in October in the Nations League, after coming back against Belgium in the semifinals (3-2) and against Spain in the final (2-1), equaling Benzema with a spectacular goal.
“I am going to enjoy this trophy, we are going to qualify for the World Cup and look for it,” said the footballer at the time, outside the team that won in Russia-2018.
Now he will be able to continue polishing his football against Kazakhstan and Finland next Tuesday, at the close of the World Cup qualification.
– Trial on November 24 –
The Real Madrid forward and captain, who renewed his contract until 2023, has less reason to smile off the pitch. On November 24, the Versailles court will issue a sentence on his case of ‘sextape’, the attempt to blackmail former international Mathieu Valbuena with a video of a sexual nature.
In October the prosecution requested 10 months in prison with suspension of sentence against Benzema, accused of complicity in the blackmail attempt, as well as a 75,000 euros ($ 87,000) fine, considering that the wiretaps prove that he is “associated” with the plot. .
The white striker has preferred to keep silent about a case that tarnished his image and cost him to be out of the French team for six years. AFP (HN)