France National team head-coach, Didier Deschamps has named his 26-man strong squad for the European Championships this summer. The notable admission into the squad was that of veteran Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema who has earned his place back at the national side.
Benzema has not played for France since 2015 after a blackmailing scandal over which he faces a trial in October. The striker has scored 27 goals in his 81 appearances averaging a goal every three games, the last of which came in an international friendly against Armenia.
Karim Benzema’s inclusion adds to the attacking strength of France in the Euro 2020
Speaking on the inclusion of Benzema after the long hiatus of 5 years, the coach said, “We met, we spoke at length, I then thought very hard and came to make this decision.
“I needed this chat, he needed this chat. I don’t want to make a specific case. As a national team boss, I have always looked beyond my personal case. My responsibility is important, but it is bigger than me.”
The French striker expressed his relief in a statement on his Twitter account.
“So proud of this return to the France team and the trust I’ve been shown,” he wrote. “Thanks to my family, my friends, my club, to you (the fans) … and to all who have supported me and given me strength every day.”
France’s 26-man squad for the Euro Cup includes 3 goalkeepers, 8 defenders, 5 midfielders and 10 attackers and wingers.
FRANCE’s Euro 2020 squad –
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham, Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mike Maignan (Lille);
Defenders: Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Leo Dubois (France), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Lucas Digne (Everton), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea);
Midfielders: N’golo Kante (Chelsea), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham);
Attackers: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain, Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona).
EURO 2020 will start on 11th June and France have been placed in Group F along with heavyweights Portugal, Germany and Hungary.