The president of the French Football Association, Noel Le Graet, said there is a strong possibility they will not select Karim Benzema to represent Les Bleus in the future. This statement cancels hopes of his return after it was reported that his court case was thrown out. Benzema was alleged to be involved in a plot to blackmail his team-mate Mathieu Valbuena in a sex-tape scandal. This incident was brought to light in 2015 and since then Benzema has not been featured for France. Benzema was upset at being left off of the team for Euro 2016 in which France lost the final 1-0 to Portugal. Benzema accused France’s manager, Didier Deschamps, of not being able to cope with the pressure placed on him by nationalists and bigots within French football culture.
Le Graet admitted that the case went on longer than expected and somewhat ruined the federation’s stature. He also stated that regardless of the outcome of the situation he doesn’t think Benzema would make the squad. He thinks Benzema will not return for Les Blues because he is being played out of position and suffering a run of poor form.
Last season, Karim made 32 appearances in La Liga scoring 5 goals and assisting 11 goals. In the Zidane era, Benzema made 114 appearances, scoring 43 goals and assisting 26 goals. This means he scored a goal every 183 minutes. Under Lopetegui, Karim found good form in his first three appearances in La Liga scoring 4 goals. He is yet to add to that goal tally as he has gone 342 minutes without scoring a goal.