Explained: Why Benzema could yet make a stunning return to France's World Cup squad
- Benzema withdrew from World Cup
- Struggled with injuries in 2022/23
- But could still return for France
WHAT HAPPENED? Off the back of officially being crowned the 2022 Ballon d'Or winner, Benzema was set to head to Qatar with the French national team in a bid to defend their 2018 World Cup crown. But, having struggled with injuries in 2022/23 so far, he had to pull out of the tournament altogether.
WHY COULD HE STILL FEATURE FOR FRANCE? Spanish outlet Onda Madrid report that Benzema is set to return to training for Real Madrid imminently. However, RMC Sport state that, if he returns to fitness, the striker can link up with Didier Deschamps' squad if called upon by the manager, as he is still on the list of players registered for the tournament.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Given Benzema's struggle for fitness this season and the fact that France are now already up and running in Qatar with fellow veteran Olivier Giroud leading the line instead, the reality is that it is unlikely he joins up with the squad, despite being able to do so. The 34-year-old will instead have all eyes on being available for Real once again in December.
IN THREE PHOTOS: