Karim Benzema will return to training on Tuesday at Valdebebas after scoring his 22nd and 23rd goal of the season for Real Madrid, aware in the knowledge that he will not be partaking in the international break with France.
It has been a long time since the international break has affected the striker, who hasn’t had a call-up to the French national team since 2015, following the Mathieu Valbuena scandal.
The controversy, which is still ongoing in French courts, spelt the end of Benzema’s international career on October 8, 2015, whe Les Bleus came up against Armenia in a friendly.
Benzema wasn’t called up to the France squad that won the World Cup in 2018, nor the Euro 2016 squad which eventually lost to Portugal in the final.
His exclusion from the French squad happened right in the middle of his Real Madrid career, a career which has seen him do better in the last three years following the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and has also seen him sneak into Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer rankings in fifth place with 272 goals.
Beyond that, Benzema has become a key player for Real Madrid, to the point where winning trophies very much rests upon Benzema’s success in front of goal.
Benzema’s significance in French football is also remarkable, scoring 365 goals in his professional career, the second-best tally a Frenchman has ever achieved, in front of Michel Platini (354), Roger Courtois (364) and only behind Thierry Henry, who finished his career on 411 goals, something Benzema can look to overtake in the years to come.