France recall Karim Benzema for first time since 2015 ahead of Euros

Real Madrid v Chelsea – UEFA Champions League – Semi Final – First Leg – Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano
(Image credit: Isabel Infantes)

Karim Benzema has been recalled by France for this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament after an absence of more than five years.

The Real Madrid striker was dropped in 2015 over his alleged involvement in the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape scandal.

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The 33-year-old fell out with manager Didier Deschamps over the matter and it appeared his international career was over.

Those differences appear to have been put aside with Benzema named in the Deschamps’ 26-man squad for the tournament.

Benzema is due to stand trial in October on a charge of complicity in attempted blackmail. He is accused of pressuring international team-mate Valbuena to pay blackmailers who were threatening to reveal an intimate video of the midfielder. Benzema denies any wrongdoing.

Benzema last played for France in 2015

Benzema last played for France in 2015 (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Despite his exclusion by France, Benzema has remained one of the world’s leading strikers. His recall comes after a fine season in which he has scored 29 goals for Real in all competitions.

Benzema will bolster an attacking arsenal for the world champions that also includes Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.

Premier League players Hugo Lloris, Lucas Digne, Kurt Zouma, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Moussa Sissoko and Olivier Giroud are also included.

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