The 33-year-old saw a first-half spot kick saved by Danny Ward in his first international appearance since October 2015
Karim Benzema made his first France appearance in nearly six years when he started Wednesday’s friendly against Wales, but his return included a saved penalty in the first half.
Benzema started against Wales alongside Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann on Wednesday, forming a strong attacking trio for Didier Deschamps’ side.
How did Benzema’s return go?
Midway through the first half, France were awarded a penalty when Wales defender Neco Williams was penalised for a handball in the box and shown a red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity.
Benzema stepped up and went low to his left, but goalkeeper Danny Ward produced a fine diving save to deny the forward. The striker has now missed each of his last three penalties for France.
Benzema’s exile ends
The 33-year-old striker amassed 81 caps and scored 27 goals for Les Bleus leading up to his two-goal display against Armenia in October 2015.
That match would be Benzema’s last before his international exile began, and it appeared for a long time to have been his final France appearance – but after a fantastic run of form for Madrid, Deschamps decided to give Benzema another chance with France ahead of their Euro 2020 campaign.
What was said?
Speaking about his decision to reinstate Benzema, Deschamps said “things have changed” but didn’t give away much else.
“Things have changed. Me, and certainly Karim’s side too, of course,” the France boss told Telefoot. “I’m not going to tell you when, how, if it was possible before. The conditions were not met, they are today. If I made this decision, you can imagine that it was fine.”