karim-benzema-announces-shock-retirement-from-france-after-missing-out-on-world-cup

Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema has announced his retirement from international football just a day after France suffered defeat in the World Cup final.

The best player in the sport in 2022, as voted by journalists around the world, missed the entirety of the World Cup following a thigh injury.

It was later revealed he declined an invitation from French president Emmanuel Macron to attend the final at Lusail Stadium.

France went on to lose the game to Argentina 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw over 120 minutes of play.

Credit: Cal Sport Media / AlamyAnd despite not playing a minute for his nation at the tournament, Benzema decided it was prime time to call it quits on international duty.

He took to social media to write: “I’ve made the efforts and mistakes that were necessary for me to be where I am today and I’m proud of it! I’ve written my story and ours comes to an end.”

The Real Madrid striker has had a tumultuous career with France.

He was the nation’s top goalscorer at the 2014 World Cup but was later exiled from the team for his alleged role in a sex-tape scandal involving Mathieu Valbuena.

The controversy meant he missed France’s 2018 World Cup win.

He was recalled by Didier Descamps for the 2020 European Championship where he was the team’s top scorer before they were dumped out by Switzerland in the round of 16.

The 35-year-old was expected to play a pivotal role in France’s campaign in Qatar.

The striker had enjoyed his best season at club level in 2021/22 after scoring 44 goals in 46 games across all competitions, leading Madrid to glory in La Liga and the Champions League.

However, a knock to his left thing in training, while also recovering from an issue in his right thigh meant he had a recovery time of three weeks.

But speculation ran rampant that the Frenchmen could return for his nation in the final as he had not been officially replaced on the squad list.

FoxSports reports that rumours of a rift between him and the rest of the squad may have contributed him to hastily leave the team before the tournament.

Benzema later fuelled those rumours with mixed messaging on social media after reports emerged that he’d be available for the final.

He wrote on Instagram: “I’m not interested.”

In any case, he played no part in the tournament and ended a 15-year international career with 37 goals in 97 appearances.