The situation of Karim Benzema, forfeited for the World Cup and arrived on Reunion Island on Tuesday, is not one of “the things that occupy my mind”, swept away coach Didier Deschamps, preferring to “take care of the 24 players who are there” with the France team. The presence of the player in Reunion weakens the hypothesis of a return to training for Real Madrid on Thursday, advanced Monday by some Spanish media, which speculated on a possible return of Benzema to the France team during the World Cup.
Forfeited for the World Cup after an injury in Qatar contracted on the eve of the opening match, Benzema arrived Tuesday morning around 9:20 a.m. (6:20 a.m. in Paris) in Reunion, according to an AFP correspondent. The Ballon d’Or 2022, on a private visit, must stay a week in the Indian Ocean, we learned from a relative of the player. He arrived at Roland-Garros international airport in Sainte-Marie without making a statement. In casual clothes and a red cap, he rushed directly into an SUV.
“Looking for stuff there…”
Asked about the case of the Madrilenian, still present administratively in the official list of the Blues at the World Cup, Didier Deschamps evacuated the question. “Are you looking for stuff there…”, he answered in a press conference before Tunisia-France, Wednesday at the end of the first round. “These are not things that occupy my mind, I don’t know who says what, where, how”.
“I spoke with Karim after he left, you know his situation and the timeframe for him to recover. I’m taking care of the 24 players who are there. I’ll leave that to you if you want to talk about it, debate, imagine. I’m not going to comment on stuff that doesn’t concern our daily lives,” he added.
He is still on the official list of the Blues
Benzema withdrew on November 19 after suffering a thigh injury in training. His recovery time had been estimated at three weeks by the French Federation. Not replaced by Deschamps, the Madrid player is still on the official list of the Blues at the World Cup. During the first two matches, his name was present on the match sheet, with the mention “absent”.
Solicited by AFP, Fifa specified that in the event of a coronation, it would award a medal to each player and that Benzema “would be entitled” to one of them, but that the decision to consider him as world champion ultimately returned to the French selection.