France star Karim Benzema WON’T be at World Cup final as he ‘rejects offer to travel’


Karim Benzema ‘REJECTS French president Emmanuel Macron’s offer to take his private jet to the World Cup final’, with relationship with boss Didier Deschamps BROKEN after he had to be sent home

Karim Benzema has reportedly rejected the chance to attend France’s World Cup final in Qatar as his bitter feud with Didier Deschamps over his injury continues to escalate.

The Ballon d’Or winner has controversially missed the tournament through injury and was expected to be a big miss for the reigning champions, but they have dealt with his absence well and will contest their second final in a row against Argentina.

According to RMC Sport, however, Benzema has rejected an offer from French president Emmanuel Macron to join him on his presidential plane to Qatar to attend the game and support his side.

Karim Benzema has rejected the chance to attend the World Cup final in support of France

France's President Emmanuel Macron offered to take the star to the final on his private jet

France’s President Emmanuel Macron offered to take the star to the final on his private jet

Benzema, the Real Madrid striker, was ruled out of the tournament before it had even started after suffering a thigh injury in their first training session in Doha. 

Spanish publication Libertad Digital claimed earlier this week that Benzema was unhappy with the treatment by Deschamps, who is claimed to have sent the striker home despite his injury only requiring minor treatment. 

Benzema reportedly needed just three days of treatment at Real Madrid’s training facility before he went on holiday and has already recovered.

He is said to have wanted to stay with the French squad to receive treatment, but was sent away from the camp. 

L’Equipe claimed on Sunday that Benzema has had no contact with the French camp since he left Qatar. They also claim his relationship with Deschamps, which was already far from harmonious, is now completely ‘broken’. 

It’s claimed that Benzema’s entourage complained about how France’s medical team were treating his thigh injury but that the striker’s lack of communication over his fitness ‘gave the impression he was hiding something’.

Benzema also reportedly found it bizarre that Deschamps chose not to replace him in the squad, believing it would have helped him get over being sent home if somebody had been called up in his place.

Deschamps batted away questions on Benzema in the build-up to the final against Argentina

Deschamps batted away questions on Benzema in the build-up to the final against Argentina

Recent reports suggested the 35-year-old could make a dramatic return to the squad for the game against Argentina, which the player himself dismissed and insisted he ‘doesn’t care’.

France had lost a number of key players to a virus in the semi-final win over Morocco and the days after but Deschamps had a full compliment available to him in training on Saturday. 

Deschamps appeared to be irked on Saturday when he was asked if Benzema could feature in the final with Argentina. 

He closed his eyes and puffed his cheeks before saying ‘I don’t really want to answer that question,’ and letting out a smile as he quickly said: ‘Next question.’

Paul Pogba has travelled to Qatar for the final, posing for pictures with ITV's Laura Woods

Paul Pogba has travelled to Qatar for the final, posing for pictures with ITV’s Laura Woods

But when the France boss was further quizzed about Benzema playing or even watching in Qatar, Deschamps hit back and said: ‘Are you spreading the word among foreign journalists? If I don’t answer, you’ll say I’m p***ed off. 

‘I have players who have been injured before. Karim is one of them. The last to be injured is is Lucas Hernandez.

‘Since then, I have 24 players to manage and you know them. To ask the question vis-a-vis these players, if I may say so, is at least clumsy, if not a little more.

‘The group is there. I don’t take care of the invitations of players, former players or injured players. I don’t know who will be there.’

Rumours circulated about a return because Benzema is still a registered member of the squad and would be a world champion if France retain their trophy from 2018. 

Olivier Giroud has impressed in Benzema’s absence, becoming his country’s all-time top goal scorer in the tournament. 

But Benzema won’t even be at the game in a spectator’s capacity, throwing his future international career into doubt having already missed five-and-a-half years of playing international football.

Fellow injured players Christopher Nkunku, Paul Pogba, Presnel Kimpembe and N’Golo Kante will all be in attendance in Qatar.

The former Manchester United star was seen in pictures posted on Instagram with ITV presenter Laura Woods and his former Old Trafford team-mate Rio Ferdinand.

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