Karimi Benzema WC Final Return: Is Karim Benzema returning for FIFA World Cup Final? The rumored return of Benzema for the Final against Argentina on Sunday is grabbing headlines everywhere. The 1st thing France coach Didier Deschamps was asked at the FIFA Press Conference was – is Benzema fit to play FIFA World CUP FINAL?
Deschamps refused to confirm on Wednesday a report that star forward Karim Benzema could rejoin Les Bleus in Qatar.
Spanish outlet Marca claimed Tuesday that the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner has returned to full training with Real Madrid. This means there’s a possibility he’ll at least be in attendance for Sunday’s final.
Benzema was originally named to Deschamps’s squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup but was injured before France played its first game of the tournament. But he was never replaced from the roster, which makes him eligible to return.
Asked by FOX Sports following Les Bleus 2-0 semifinal win over Morocco if Benzema was en route back to the World Cup, Deschamps politely declined to say whether the report was true.
“I don’t really want to answer that question,” Deschamps said following a long pause. “Next question. I do apologize.”
Besides Benzema’s status as one the world’s most prolific strikers, one reason for Deschamps’ potential about-face is the fact France’s camp has been ravaged by illness in recent days. Midfielder Adrien Rabiot and defender Dayot Upamecano didn’t train on Tuesday. Word is winger Kingsley Coman is also sick. None of them played against Morocco. Rabiot wasn’t even on the substitutes bench.
“We’ve had a few cases of with flu-like symptoms,” Deschamps said. “We’re all trying to be careful so that it doesn’t spread.”
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If France can beat Lionel Messi’s Albiceleste on Sunday and repeat as world champions, something only two nations have done before at the quadrennial event and none since Brazil six decades ago, it would mark Benzema’s first World Cup title. Benzema was left off of France’s team in 2018 after he was banned from international play for allegedly blackmailing French teammate Matthieu Valbuena. Benzema wasn’t summoned to the national team again until June 2021, almost six years after his last call-up, despite being arguably France’s best forward.
Benzema has won plenty of trophies in his illustrious career, including five Champions League titles. But the World Cup would undoubtedly be his crown jewel — especially since this is likely the last chance for the soon-to-be 35-year-old.
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