The Ballon d’Or winner has had a complicated relationship with Les Blues throughout his football career .
Karim Benzema has announced that he has retired from international duty with France on his 35th birthday, days after his country’s exit from the World Cup Final.
Rumored to have a possible return for France’s World Cup final against Argentina on Sunday, Benzema dismissed the claims with an “I’m not interested” post.
Now the Real Madrid Star and the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner has bid farewell to Les Blues.
“I made the effort and the mistakes it took to be where I am today, and I’m proud of it! I have written my story, and ours is ending,” Benzema wrote on his social media channels.
Marking 37 goals in 97 appearances, Benzema was expected to lead the French squad in Qatar’s World Cup but was absent due to a last-minute thigh injury in training the day before the kickoff.
Debuting in 2006 on a senior level, Benzema climbed through the ranks, becoming France’s top scorer at the 2014 World Cup.
The striker was in excellent form and ushered his team to the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by eventual winners Germany 1-0.
Despite his wins, Benzema was excluded from the team and not selected by his country for the Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup after a sex tape and blackmail scandal with teammate Mathieu Valbuena erupted in 2015.
Allegations pinned Benzema as having a role in blackmailing Valbuena, and the superstar was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence and a €75,000 fine in 2021.
France’s Coach Didier Deschamps was accused by Benzema of bowing to racist pressure after his recess from the national team, citing the influence of the country’s “extremist” political party.
“He has bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France,” Benzema told Marca.
“He has to know that in France the extremist party reached the second round in the last two elections. I do not know, therefore, whether it is a decision only for Didier because I’ve gotten along with him, with the president, everyone,” Benzema added.
The Real Madrid star would later return to the national team in 2021, his first call-up to the squad in over five years.
Benzema would help lead his team to the 2021 UEFA Nations League as he overtook Zinedine Zidane in France, scoring records and becoming the 6th top scorer in the country’s history.
The 35-year-old is now fixated on his season with Real Madrid after winning the Champions League and La Liga titles in 2021.