French professional football striker, Karim Benzema has announced his international retirement from the France National team.
He made this announcement yesterday on his social media handle with a photo of himself wearing the France jersey.
“I made the effort and the mistakes it took to be where I am today and I’m proud of it!
I have written my story and ours is ending. #Nueve” he captioned the photo.
However, the striker was subsequently ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury and even though he could have returned to the set-up during the competition – having regained fitness and due to being named in the initial squad – that did not occur.
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Report had it that Karim Benzema even rejected an invite from French president Emmanuel Macron to be part of his private entourage that flew from France to watch Sunday’s final in Qatar.
The 35 year old player has achieved a lot with the France team, awarded the UEFA Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or, becoming the fifth French player to have won the Ballon d’Or. At 34 years and 302 days old, he is the second-oldest winner of the award.
He won the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Championship and made his senior debut for France in 2007, at age 19. He has since earned over 95 caps, including scoring in three and appearing in four major tournaments, and ranks as France’s fifth-highest all-time top goalscorer.
He was duly controversially left out of the squad for the 2010 World Cup and did not play for France for over five years after being implicated in a blackmailing scandal in 2015; he later returned to the squad before announcing his international retirement in December 2022. He has been named French Player of the Year by France Football four times.