Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has fired back at the president of the French Football Federation Noel Le Graet after claims were made that the attacker is in poor shape.
Speaking to Ouest-France as quoted by Marca, Le Graet took aim at Benzema’s fitness and all but confirmed the forward would not play for Les Bleus again.
“I think the ‘bleus’ are over for him, and he’s in the worst shape for a while now. I have nothing against Karim, he always behaved well with the French team, but I think now his time is over.”
Despite not enjoying the most prolific of seasons last term, Benzema is on the shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or and the decorated forward took to social media to make his feelings felt over Le Graet’s comments.
He posted: “Mr. Le Graet, I ask you to forget about me and leave me alone, please. France are the world champions.”
Benzema has been exiled from a number of France squads in recent years. In 2010 he was omitted over a lack of game time, in 2016 he was left out due to a publicised scandal including blackmail, and in 2018 he allegedly didn’t make the cut because of tactical reasons.
Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe fired France to World Cup glory earlier this year with Olivier Giroud also featuring up front, while Alexandre Lacazette is also pushing for a recall after some brilliant performances for Arsenal.