Karim Benzema ‘will sit next to Olivier Giroud at team meals at Clairefontaine’s training base’ in awkward reunion for French strikers after Real Madrid star described himself as an ‘F1 car’ and his Chelsea rival a ‘GO-KART’ in caustic remarks
Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud have reportedly sat together in Clairefontaine by Didier Deschamps just over a year after the Real Madrid star rejected his compatriot’s credentials.
The 33-year-old shooter was a surprise call-up in the squad for Euro 2020 after a break of more than five years.
Benzema was recalled to the French squad for this summer’s tournament after good form for the club, with the veteran forward insisting he never gave up hopes of playing for France.
Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud will sit down with France for team meals, reports say
Benzema had made disparaging comments during his ban from international football, and according to L’Equipe, via Get French football news, Deschamps has placed the Madrid star in a rather awkward position during meals at the French training base.
The 33-year-old will sit alongside Chelsea star Giroud, as well as Antoine Griezmann, Leo Dubois, Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard and Hugo Lloris.
Benzema may have to smooth things over with Giroud after criticizing his compatriot’s credentials during a Twitter Q&A in March.
Benzema earned a recall on the national side after five years of exile from the French team
Benzema once described himself as an ‘F1 car’ and Giroud a ‘go-kart’ in stinging reprimand
When a fan asked him to compare himself to Giroud, he said: ‘This won’t be long. You don’t confuse F1 with karting. And I’m nice. Then… and I know I’m F1.
“It works because he’s there. That’s all. It won’t be spectacular, it won’t be crazy, but in his way you see more of Griezmann or Mbappe because he will work on it.
‘Does everyone like that way of playing? I do not know.’
Benzema later declined to go back on his stance on Giroud, saying, “I just told the truth about Giroud.
“But we didn’t remember what I said about him, especially about what he brings to the French national team.
Now coach Didier Deschamps has put the pair together for meals at Clairefontaine’s base
Benzema wants to immediately settle back into the fold prior to this summer’s tournament
“We just remembered the moment when I said I was F1 and he was karting. That’s what I think, that’s the truth, and that’s the way it is.’
Giroud had backtracked on the scathing criticism, replying by saying, “At the time, when I was unfairly criticized for Karim’s absence, it hurt me.
“I kept proving that I deserved my place and that some people have created this alleged rivalry with Karim from scratch.
“I had nothing to do with it, we just play in the same position. It happened, but I reacted well to these difficulties.’
The return of Benzema is a huge boost for Deschamps, who can already boast a very strong squad. The 33-year-old’s participation makes the reigning world champions strong contenders to take home the trophy at Wembley on July 11.