Benzema gives Mbappe blessing

Posted Monday, May 31, 2021 by

Benzema gives Mbappe blessing

Karim Benzema has been recalled to the France national team setup for the European Championship and was asked for his view on some of the major talking points surrounding Les Bleus heading into the tournament in his first talk with the media since linking up with his country.

Yet the departure of Zinedine Zidane from Los Blancos was the first topic of interest.

"He is a really great coach, on the human side too," he said.

"With me he was always magnificent.

"I'm sad about his departure from Madrid, but that's the way it is. Life goes on."

On his return to the French national team, Benzema was grateful for Didier Deschamps' decision.

"I think I've already said it. But do you want me to say it again? Thanks Didier. (laughter in the press room).

"We had already spoken at the time [of the call-up] and we exchanged some words. I'm happy to be back."

Benzema feels his return to the national team was down to his own hard work and belief.

"I think it is because of my performances and that I have never stopped believing. I was down because morally it was hard not to be [in the national team]," he said.

"There have been many obstacles that have formed part of my career but I have always fought and I have had my reward."

Benzema was full of praise for Kylian Mbappe, with whom he is likely to start in attack.

"I do not like to compare," he said. "[Mbappe] is still a young player, a phenomenon.

"I have already been able to train with him. We play with one touch, he has good movement, he has a lot of speed and has skill in front of goal.

"He is a very very good player."

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