The Real Madrid striker has confirmed that he is back in full training with Les Bleus after recovering from a slight knock
Karim Benzema has declared himself 100 per cent fit for France’s Euro 2020 campaign after shaking off an injury scare.
Benzema was called up to the France squad for the first time in six years ahead of their latest international tournament, but left head coach Didier Deschamps sweating on his fitness after limping out of their final warm-up game against Bulgaria.
The 33-year-old was replaced by Olivier Giroud in the 41st minute of the 3-0 victory after going down under a challenge from opposition defender Ivan Turitsov, leading to question marks over his participation in France’s Group F opener against Germany.
What’s been said?
Deschamps played down the severity of the injury post-match, and Benzema has now revealed that he is already back in training ahead of his country’s first game at the European Championships on Tuesday.
“I’m very good. I was able to resume training with the group yesterday,” the Real Madrid striker told Telefoot. “There was no pain. I didn’t think about the fact that I could have had to forfeit the Euros.
“It was a big pain but it was only a blow. It was not necessary to stay more minutes on the ground so as not to force it, so I decided to go out.
“We have a very good medical staff so everything was done very quickly. If I resumed training with the group yesterday, it is because I have no discomfort, no pain.
“I feel good, I worked in the gym so I am 100%.”
Benzema’s international record
Before Benzema was exiled from the France squad due to his alleged involvement in a sex-tape scandal in 2015, the forward had played in 81 games for his country, having been handed his international debut eight years earlier while on Lyon’s books.
Benzema has 27 goals to his name for Les Bleus, but drew a blank on his return as Deschamps’ men beat Wales 3-0 in a friendly on June 2 before being withdrawn prematurely against Bulgaria on Tuesday.
Benzema’s relationship with Mbappe
Benzema will be sharing the limelight upfront for France with Paris Saint-Germain superstar Mbappe, who helped fire the team to glory at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Madrid talisman is enjoying working with the 22-year-old and says he is ready to step up for his country on the biggest stage once again.
“I had seen him on TV and I had already played against him at club level,” Benzema said of Mbappe. “For his young age, he is already one of the best. I like playing with him a lot. I have a lot of fun because he’s someone who can make a difference at any time.
“He goes fast, he knows how to play one-touch, he knows how to win, he knows how to do everything. It’s important for the French team to have a player like him.
“There are always things to improve in football, but the main thing in important games is to be there and make a difference.”