Karim Benzema admits his exile from France was ‘morally tough’ but ‘maximally focused’ on euros

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Karim Benzema admits his exile from France and Mathieu Valbuena’s sex tape scandal was ‘morally tough’ but is ‘focused to the limit’ to help Les Bleus reach Euro 2020 following a shocking recall for the first time in six years. have received.

Karim Benzema has admitted that his banishment from the French national team was ‘morally difficult’, but he would like to draw a line under his contentious relationship with the team before returning.

The 33-year-old has been pushed aside by manager Didier Deschamps since 2015 after his alleged role in the sex tape blackmail of former French teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

But Benzema was recalled to the French squad for this summer’s European Championships after good form for club side Real Madrid, with the veteran forward insisting he never gave up hope of playing for France again.

Karim Benzema has spoken to the French squad for the first time since his shocking recall

Karim Benzema has spoken to the French squad for the first time since his shocking recall

The striker was chosen by Didier Deschamps (left) for this year's European Championship

The striker was chosen by Didier Deschamps (left) for this year's European Championship

The striker was chosen by Didier Deschamps (left) for this year’s European Championship

Benzema told a press conference on Sunday: ‘I never kept believing it, I never gave up, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I was very disappointed, it was morally difficult.

‘There were a lot of obstacles, it’s part of my career, I’ve always fought and that’s what it takes to hope to come back. I am being rewarded. ‘

Benzema is suspected of encouraging Valbuena to collaborate with blackmailers, who threatened to release an intimate video that showed him.

Investigators who accused Benzema believe he was approached by a childhood friend to act as a middleman and convince Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers. Instead, Valbuena notified the police.

Benzema (right) was banned for six years over sex tape scandal with Mathieu Valbuena (left)

Benzema (right) was banned for six years over sex tape scandal with Mathieu Valbuena (left)

Benzema (right) was banned for six years over sex tape scandal with Mathieu Valbuena (left)

When the story broke, Benzema faced fierce criticism and then Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the striker had ‘no place’ on the national team. He had not been able to mend relations and return to his country until his recall earlier this summer.

Benzema is reported to be on trial from October 20 to October 22 this year and he has denied any wrongdoing and four other people will also face the case.

The Real Madrid forward claims regrets about his incident with Valbuena, but claims he is only focused on France’s performance in the summer tournament.

Benzema insists he is purely focused on helping France in this summer's European tournament

Benzema insists he is purely focused on helping France in this summer's European tournament

Benzema insists he is purely focused on helping France in this summer’s European tournament

He added: ‘There are always regrets. I want to say that what happened happened. There is always regret, but you cannot go back.

‘The most important thing for me is what you have done on the football field, I am fully focused on what I can bring to this team. This is what I have in mind as ambition. ‘

The striker closed his press conference by confirming that he had already spoken with Deschamps about his return and drawing a line under the scandal.

The Real Madrid man confirmed that he said 'thanks' to Deschamps for the recall

The Real Madrid man confirmed that he said 'thanks' to Deschamps for the recall

The Real Madrid man confirmed that he said ‘thanks’ to Deschamps for the recall

When asked to thank the French boss for bringing him back, Benzema joked, “I think I already told him. Do you want me to say it here? Thank you Didier.

‘We have already had a discussion, it has been said. I am super happy to be here. ‘

Benzema is hoping to help France complete a World Cup and European Championships double after winning their second trophy in the global tournament in 2018.

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