The photo will remain as a unique snapshot in Karim Benzema's career in blue: on October 10, 2021, author of a magnificent goal that evening against Spain, the Madrilenian poses proudly with the League of Nations trophy.
Gold medal around his neck, he has just returned with the Blues for only a few months, is decisive, smiling and, finally, successful.
Everything seems to indicate that his story with the Blues will be entitled to a happy ending.
Finally, a package before the World Cup in Qatar and an international retirement announced in the wake of France's defeat against Argentina in the World Cup final concluded a last month loaded with misunderstandings with Didier Deschamps.
2008-2010: mixed beginnings
Karim Benzema experienced difficulties for his arrival in the France team.
Icon Sport/Philippe Perusseau
When he landed in the France team in 2008, Karim Benzema seemed to be the one who would dethrone Thierry Henry as the Blues' top scorer.
But his first international competition, Euro 2008, ends with a bitter taste, he who will have gone through the three pitiful group matches of very pale Blues without being able to score.
In 2009, he signed with Real Madrid, took a step forward in the club.
But his first season at the Bernabéu did not convince Raymond Domenech to select him for the South African World Cup in 2010. However, in the collective imagination, many associate him with the sinking of Knysna.
A mystery among many others.
2012-2014: famine and an unhappy World Cup
At the 2014 World Cup, Karim Benzema scored three goals in the group stage, but failed to prevent France's elimination to Germany.
Icon Sport/Dave Winter
In a French team marked by the Knysna scandal and in the midst of a generational void, Karim Benzema is a beacon in the night who struggles to illuminate anything.
He who was to save the Blues from drowning with them: between June 5, 2012 and October 11, 2013, he had his famous series of 15 games and 1,222 minutes without scoring in the blue jersey.
During this crossing of the desert, there is a Euro 2012 traveled well below his talent.
And then, finally, the first shivers on the big stage.
During the 2014 World Cup, he scored three goals in the group stage and finally led a French attack… which would come out in the quarter-finals.
Karim Benzema is suspected of having put pressure on Mathieu Valbuena in October 2015 in exchange for the non-distribution of a sextape featuring him.
Icon Sport/Dave Winter
Between 2015 and 2016, the sextape affair cost him his place in Blues.
Shelved from the France group and not selected for Euro 2016, he broke his relationship with Didier Deschamps by declaring to Marca that the coach gave in to "a racist part of France".
Without him, but with a generation finally full of talent, the Blues go to the final of the Euro at home.
Above all, they are going to conquer the supreme title in Russia, which gives France its second star.
2022: the wound too many
An injury prevented Karim Benzema from participating in the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. LP / Arnaud Journois
Throughout his absence, the shadow of Karim Benzema never ceased to hover over the France team.
The question came up as often as his performances with Real Madrid were a reminder of how valuable he would be in this team finally moving in the right direction.
Shortly before Euro 2021, he finally settles his differences with Didier Deschamps and finds the Blues... for a new disappointment, with elimination against Switzerland in the round of 16 despite brilliant performances and a promising agreement with Kylian Mbappé which will materialize in the League of Nations, the only title he won with his nation.
In 2022, the whole of France finally hoped to see a Benzema at the top of his game, Ballon d'Or, shine brightly in the World Cup.
Fate would have it otherwise.