Karim Benzema and France teammate reject World Cup final invitation
Thanks, but no thanks.
After a flurry of excitement following France's World Cup semi-final win over Morocco, Karim Benzema will not be making a miracle comeback for Didier Deschamps' side.
As it now turns out, he will not be attending the game in Qatar, either, to cheer on his teammates.
The Real Madrid forward is part of France's squad for the World Cup but was ruled out of taking an active part after suffering a thigh injury just day's before the tournament started.
There were widespread reports on Wednesday, though, after France reached the final. Deschamps himself was surprised to be asked about Benzema making a playing return.
The man himself nipped all such talk in the bud, though, with a simple post to his Instagram account saying he was not interested.
Karim Benzema rejects presidential invite
It has now been reported by ESPN that Karim Benzema has rejected an invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron to attend the World Cup final, as his team faces Argentina.
The 34-year-old and teammate Lucas Hernandez, who got injured during the first game against Australia, will not be there either. Asked about the invitations, at a press briefing today, Didier Deschamps said:
"There have been players injured and Karim was one of them. Since that time, I have had 24 players to look after. Asking this question [about Benzema] is clumsy in regards to them. I don't deal with invitations for the final for injured players or former players. Some will be there, others not."
A source reportedly told ESPN that Benzema "is fully behind the team and wants them to win this title, which will be his a little bit in a way." As he was never replaced from the original 26-man squad, Benzema would be entitled to a winners' medal, should France beat Argentina.
France internationals that have accepted the invitation from President Macron include Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe abd Christophe Nkunku, who all missed the tournament through injury.
- 'Kylian Mbappe doesn't lace boots' of peak Lionel Messi - Damien Duff
- Duff and Given combine for the best night of World Cup coverage RTE has had
- Roy Keane pays fitting tribute to Luka Modric before heartbreaking tunnel scenes