Benzema Announces Retirement From International Football

Karim Benzema has announced his retirement from international football on his 35th birthday and a day after France lost to Argentina in a dramatic 2022 World Cup final.

Benzema missed the tournament in Qatar due to a thigh injury on the eve of the event and will not play for France again.

His international career saw him not play for his country for five years after being implicated in a blackmailing scandal.

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Benzema received his first call-up in 2006 and was part of the Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup squads that were eliminated in the group stage.

The Real Madrid star was controversially left out of the 2010 World Cup but soon returned to the side under new manager Laurent Blanc.

Quarter-final exits in Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup were as good as it got for Benzema at major international competitions.

In 2015, Benzema was arrested for his alleged part in blackmailing France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.He hit out at the French Football Federation and manager Didier Deschamps after not being picked for Euro 2016, where France lost in the final to Portugal in extra time.

Benzema returned over five years later at last year’s Euro 2020, where he scored four goals in four games before France were eliminated on penalties by Switzerland.

Later that year, he won the Nations League with France and helped them qualify with ease for the 2022 World Cup.

The 35-year-old represented his country for one last time in June against Denmark as part of the Nations League, before an injury on the eve of the World Cup put him out of the tournament.