On Monday, Karim Benzema, the forward for France, announced his retirement from international play on social media, following France’s loss in the World Cup final. Benzema, who was previously awarded the Ballon d’Or as the top player in the world, was unable to participate in the World Cup due to a muscle injury sustained during training with the national team.
In a post on his 35th birthday, Benzema wrote, “I have made the necessary efforts and mistakes to get to where I am today, and I am proud of it. I have written my story, and our journey is coming to an end.” The post included a picture of Benzema in a France shirt.
At the 2014 World Cup, the Real Madrid striker was France’s top scorer, but he was not a part of the national team’s successful campaign in 2018 due to his involvement in a sex-tape scandal with a former teammate.
This scandal resulted in significant backlash and criticism for Benzema, including political level, and he was banned from the national team from October 2015 until May of the previous year, when he was recalled by the team’s coach, Deschamps.
Karim Benzema’s relationship with the French national team was repaired, and he scored 10 goals in 16 games after his return, bringing his total goals for the team to 37. He had a strong partnership with Kylian Mbappe.
During the most recent Champions League season, Benzema led Real Madrid to the title with 15 goals. He is now second on the team’s all-time scoring list with 329 goals.
Benzema was in good form at the European Championship, leading France in scoring with four goals.
Olivier Giroud started for France at the World Cup in Qatar in Benzema’s place and scored four goals. However, he was substituted before halftime of the final against Argentina, which ended in a 2-2 draw after regulation and a 3-3 draw after extra time. Argentina ultimately won the match in a penalty shootout. The final was one of the most exciting in World Cup history.