The Ballon d’Or winner had been an injury doubt for the tournament, having scarcely appeared in the weeks beforehand, but another thigh injury in his first full training session with Les Bleus put an end to his chances of starting against Australia.
“He came back on December 10 and seemed quite well to me. He started to work with the team, he played half an hour and 45 minutes in friendlies and feels good, and is very motivated. He’s going to show all his quality in this part of the season.”
“[On Deschamps sending Benzema home] I won’t get involved in France’s decision. They evaluated Karim at that moment and thought that he wouldn’t be able to play in the whole World Cup. It was a very motivated player who came back here. He knows that his first half of the season wasn’t good and he wants to show things in the second.”