Benzema Ends His Career With France

PARIS: Ballon D’Or winner Karim Benzema announced he was ending his international career overnight, a day after France lost in the World Cup final to Argentina.

Benzema, who scored 37 goals in 97 appearances for France, withdrew from the World Cup squad before the first leg in Qatar because of a left thigh injury sustained in training.

In the surprise announcement, the 35-year-old Real Madrid player said on Twitter: “I tried and the mistakes made to get me to where I am today and I’m proud of it! I’ve written my story and our relationship is over.”

Benzema, who won the Ballon d’Or award as the world’s best player in October, is desperate to feature at this World Cup after failing to qualify when France won the world title in Russia four years ago.

He was left out of the French squad for five and a half years due to his involvement in a coup scandal involving team mate Mathieu Valbuena.

For the Qatar World Cup, coach Didier Deschamps chose not to call up another replacement in the squad led by 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe won the Golden Boot by eight goals, including a hat-trick in the penalty shoot-out against Argentina after being tied 3-3 in added time.

Benzema, who exploded in his March 2007 debut against Austria, has not enjoyed glory for France except for the 2021 Nations League.

He has clashed with Deschamps several times because it is said he is of Algerian descent and at one point his French coaching background is “ethnic” for not listing his name.