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Zahia affair, Ukraine, return to grace ... The film year by year of Benzema in the French team


From the Zahia affair to his successful return, passing through the history of the sextape and the long blank page, Karim Benzema has experienced the roller coaster with the France team.

The figures are good: 97 selections 37 goals, and a title of which he was one of the driving forces with the League of Nations, in 2021. But Karim Benzema, 35, who has just announced his international retirement, will keep a story fractured with the France team.

Back to his years in Blues.

To discover

  • The summary of the Argentina - France final

2007: remarkable beginnings

In November 2006, the great 18-year-old Lyonnais was called up by Raymond Domenech, after only 32 matches in Ligue 1, but forfeited through injury.

In March 2007, he came off the bench and scored the winning goal against Austria (1-0) for his first cap, at the Stade de France.

2008: Euro missed

After an excellent season with OL (double Cup-Championship, top scorer and best player in Ligue 1), Benzema started in two out of the three matches at Euro 2008. Fiasco for the Blues, eliminated from the first round, and disappointment for Benzema, without a goal.

2009: "Not necessarily want to give everything"

In September 2009 against Romania (1-1), Benzema was slow to come into play then dragged his nonchalance into the last quarter of an hour.


I was so disappointed (to be a substitute) that I didn't necessarily want to play, to give everything

," he explains.

An “ inadmissible

” attitude

, thunders Domenech.

Karim Benzema and Raymond Domenech during France - Faroe Islands in October 2009 Fep / Panoramic

2010: Absent from Knysna and Zahia case

A difficult first season at Real Madrid and injuries allowed him to escape the Knysna fiasco.

But in July 2010, Benzema was indicted on suspicion of having had sex in 2009 with an underage prostitute, Zahia Dehar.

Like Franck Ribéry, Benzema will be released at the start of 2014.

2012: failed again

The South African Bérézina (exit Henry, Anelka, Cissé, Gignac) allows him to settle at the forefront of coach Laurent Blanc's eleven-type.

But at Euro 2012, he is limited to zero goals and 2 assists in 4 matches.

2013: crossing the desert

The France team is in the hard, Benzema too.

The debate on the fact that he does not sing the Marseillaise resurfaces.

Didier Deschamps stubbornly defends him but prefers Olivier Giroud for four games.

Benzema smiles again in a friendly against Australia (6-0) after 1,222 minutes without scoring (June 2012-October 2013).

2013: the turning point of Ukraine

France are beaten 2-0 in Ukraine in the first leg of the 2014 World Cup, with Giroud starting.

Deschamps revives Benzema on the return.

Good idea: the Madrid player shines in the game. He scores the second goal of the 3-0 qualifier and establishes his status.

At the Brazilian World Cup, he scored three goals in the group stage but failed to be decisive afterwards, especially during the quarter lost 1-0 against Germany.

Yohan Cabaye, Karim Benzema and Blaise Matuidi after the qualification of the Blues for the 2014 World Cup. Fep / Panoramic

2015: from armband to sextape

To open the year, he wears the Blues armband for the first time, against Brazil (3-1 defeat).

He scored twice against Armenia (4-0) on October 8, 2015, without knowing that he was playing his last minutes before five and a half years of sidelining.

He was indicted on November 5 in the sextape blackmail case exercised on his selection teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

In mid-December, the president of the Federation Noël Le Graët announced that he was "no

longer selectable

" as long as his legal situation "

does not change


Read alsoBenzema in the France team: Le Graët's permanent contradictions in the sextape affair

2016: brightening then darkness

Benzema benefits on March 11 from a lifting of his judicial control and the ban on meeting Valbuena.

Euro 2016 becomes possible again except that, in the name of exemplarity, Le Graët and Deschamps announce on April 13 that they will not take it.


Deschamps gave in under pressure from a racist part of France

", accuses Benzema on June 1 in an interview with the sports daily



Two days later, the coach's Breton residence was vandalized, with a tag calling him "


" on a perimeter wall.

2021: the surprising return

To everyone's surprise, Deschamps adds Benzema to his list for the Euro, after having been world champion without him in 2018. New N.19, Benzema scored ten goals in one year, including four at the Euro, but the Blues stall from the eighth against Switzerland.

Four months later, "KB9" brings France to the League of Nations, its only international trophy.

Karim Benzema against Switzerland at Euro 2020. AI/Reuters/Panoramic

2022: ultimate disillusionment and “end” of history

Fresh from the Ballon d'Or, Benzema is only waiting for the World Cup.

But injuries caught up with him.

Diminished by mysterious glitches in one thigh, he arrives without rhythm in Qatar.

In his first collective training, the left thigh lets go.

It's one injury too many: he is forfeited, three days before the entry into the running of the Blues.

After a sometimes enigmatic communication during the World Cup, Karim Benzema announces the "


" of "

our story

", with a photo of him in the blue jersey.

The day after the defeat of France in the final.

On his 35th birthday.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2022-12-19

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