Deschamps again leaves Benzema out of France squad

Won't feature in three summer internationals

Posted Friday, May 19, 2017 by

Deschamps again leaves Benzema out of France squad

Despite his excellent season with Real Madrid, where he's two matches away from snatching the double, Karim Benzema wasn't included in Didier Deschamps' list of call-ups for the French national team's upcoming fixtures.

The 48-year-old coach tried to defend his decision by claiming that his only intention was to protect the harmony of his team.

"This group was built before Euro 2016 and solidified during that competition, in which we reached the final," he said.

"We were competitive then and now we are still in the qualifying phase [of the 2018 World Cup].

"I'm the one who decides and [my decision] is based on sporting factors."

In an interview published last Wednesday by the newspaper L'Equipe, Benzema accused Deschamps for being inconsistent and avoiding to explain the reasons behind the player's absences from the France squad.

"If [Deschamps] looks me in the eye and tells me that he doesn't summon me for sporting reasons, I will continue to work hard," he noted.

"If it is for another reason, he should tell me that in my face and everything will be over between us."

Les Tricolores will face Paraguay on June 2 and Sweden one week later, before hosting England on June 13 at Saint Denis.

French national side for June internationals:

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Paris SG / FRA), Benoit Costil (Rennes / FRA), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham / ENG)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Barcelona / ESP), Christophe Jallet (Lyon / FRA), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris SG / FRA), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal / ENG), Benjamin Mendy (Monaco / FRA), Djibril Sidibe , Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona / ESP), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid / ESP), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea / ENG)

Midfielders: N'Golo Kante (Chelsea / ENG), Adrien Rabiot, Blaise Matuidi (Paris SG / FRA), Paul Pogba (Manchester United / ENG), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham / ENG), Corentin Tolisso (Lyon / FRA)

Forwards: Ousmane Dembele (Dortmund / GER), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal / ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid / ESP), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon / FRA), Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappe (Monaco / FRA), Dimitri Payet, Florian Thauvin (Marseille / FRA).

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