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Mathieu Valbuena Talks About Didier Deschamps Recalling Karim Benzema


Mathieu Valbuena Talks About Didier Deschamps Recalling Karim Benzema

Mathieu Valbuena has backed Didier Deschamps decision to call up Karim Benzema to the France squad for this summer’s Euros, nearly six years after his last call up.

Benzema was jettisoned from the national team in 2015 in part because of his alleged part in a blackmail scandal with then France teammate Valbuena.

The then Lyon winger was caught up in blackmail over a sex tape, with Benzema set to stand trial later this year for his alleged part in it, and he was also never called up again.

Earlier this week the Real Madrid striker got a surprise reprieve from World Cup winning manager Deschamps, who has been in charge since 2012, bringing him on board for this summer’s tournament.

Valbuena doesn’t have an issue with the call up, in fact he backed the manager saying that if it didn’t work out it wouldn’t even be the former midfielder’s fault.

“If [Benzema] can bring more to the France team, so that’s good for him. It will be on the field that it will be played,” the Olympiacos player told RMC.

“It is the coach’s choice. For me, Didier will be a winner in all cases. If the France team works, we will say that he was able to adapt and if it fails we will not blame him.

Valbuena and Benzema in 2010 for the national team. Image: PA Images
Valbuena and Benzema in 2010 for the national team. Image: PA Images

“He knows how to make his lists. He’s very smart about that. Did he call me to let me know about his decision with Benzema? No, I don’t expect anything from Didier, nothing from anyone.

“Today, I make my life and I have fun in the field. I have no further comments to make.”

The 36-year-old obviously doesn’t hold anything against Benzema’s call up, although the striker will finally face trial six years after his arrest later this year, but the midfielder was miffed at how his own exit was dealt with.

The pair line up for a game in 2015. Image: PA Images
The pair line up for a game in 2015. Image: PA Images

“In 2016, when Didier called me to tell me that I was not taken [to Euro 2016] for sporting reasons … I would have preferred to be dismissed for sporting reasons.

“The France team is something very special, and which accepted me a lot. When you have represented the national team, it’s hard to accept that. When you see that today there are players who are called up and who play very little in their clubs, you tell yourself that there are rules for some and there are others.

“Don’t tell me it was for sporting reasons. That’s what hurt and disappointed me. But then we had to move on to something else.”

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