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Benzema should definitely be called up by France – Zidane

Over four years on from his last international cap, Los Blancos’ leading man deserves another shot according to his club manager

Zinedine Zidane raised the issue of Karim Benzema’s continued absence from the France team again on Friday ahead of Real Madrid‘s trip to Eibar.

Benzema has been one of Europe’s outstanding strikers during a 10-year Madrid career, yet he has not represented his country since 2015.

The Madrid frontman has not featured at international level since he was allegedly involved in a plot to blackmail his then-France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Zidane claims Benzema still wants to represent France, though, and believes his player to be “the best” and worthy of a call-up.

“He’s always wanted to play for the French side,” Zidane told a news conference. “To be honest, I don’t know exactly what’s going on.

“But from a football point of view, he’s the best. I think he should definitely have a place in the French national team. It’s beyond my role here, but he should definitely be called up.”

Benzema scored his 50th Champions League goal for Madrid in midweek, surpassing the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano on the club’s all-time list in the process.

The impressive feat led Zidane to compare the Frenchman to Cristiano Ronaldo

“His numbers speak for themselves. Those that like football know he’s a quality player,” Zidane said. “He’s important for the team, for attacking…he does it very well. 

“The only thing that’s changed since Cristiano Ronaldo [left for Juventus] is that Karim is more mature. He’s a father and, well, many things have happened lately which are reflected on the pitch. 

“I’m very happy for Karim. It’s true that he’s overtaken a legend of this club like Alfredo di Stefano. He’s now like Cristiano Ronaldo in the history of this club. 

“He’s doing something amazing and we simply have to enjoy it and make the most of it.”

Benzema however insisted he’s not a club legend just yet as he vowed to continue helping the club as best as he can. 

“I am no legend. When I signed for the club I never thought I’d get to this point and I am so happy,” Benzema said. 

“I try to help the team and be at my best, I want to continue to help. I feel very confident, if I can help my team-mates by talking to them out there, then I will, that is down to my experience in this club.”

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