Karim Benzema (35, Real Madrid), striker of the French national team and this year’s Ballon d’Or winner, announced his retirement from the national team. It has been 15 years since his A-match debut in 2007.
Benzema announced his retirement from the national team on the 20th 메이저놀이터 (Korean time) through his SNS, saying, “I am proud of the many efforts and mistakes I made to get here. My story and ours are now over.” His A match record is 97 appearances (37 goals).
Benzema has experienced numerous victories with his team, Olympique Lyonnais and Real Madrid, and even won the Ballon d’Or, the player’s highest honor, but his national team career ended with all sorts of controversies. It is also in the same context that even though he has been active as a member of the French national team since 2007, he has only participated in the World Cup stage once, in Brazil in 2014.
In particular, Benzema was indicted in 2015 on charges of conspiring with a gang to extort money from a sex video found on the cell phone of then-colleague Mathieu Valbuena, and was sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros (about 1 year). He was fined 10 million won) and was found guilty after giving up his appeal.
In the process, he was expelled from the national team, and after spending nearly six years, he managed to join the national team ahead of Euro 2020 last year. It is the same reason why he could not join the Century Club (more than 100 A matches) even though he was a striker representing France for a long time.
However, after returning to the national team, he played an active role in helping France win the UEFA Nations League, and based on his performance in his team, he even won the Ballon d’Or. Since he showed tremendous performance last season, a lot of attention was also paid to his performance on the World Cup stage for the first time in eight years since the 2014 Brazil tournament.
But this time, an injury got in the way. He suffered a thigh injury right before the tournament and was taken off the line. There was also a prospect that he would be able to participate from the tournament, but Benzema could not join the national team in the end. Benzema has not played a single minute while the French national team is on the stage for the second consecutive World Cup final.
Moreover, during this process, he even circulated rumors of a feud with manager Didier Deschamps. Even though Benzema’s injury was not serious, it was reported that Desang had refused to play Benzema, and that Benzema was also upset. The news that Benzema participated in training with his team Real Madrid instead of returning to the World Cup added to the controversy.
Eventually, Benzema took off his national team uniform after the World Cup was over. His national team career includes winning the 2020-2021 UEFA Nations League and finishing runner-up at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Thanks to not being excluded from the World Cup final entry, the World Cup runner-up career was virtually forced into engraving.