PARIS: Karim Benzema has been recalled by France for Euro 2020 after almost six years in the wilderness.
Since October 2015, the Real Madrid centre-forward has been cut adrift by manager Didier Deschamps after a legal wrangle over an alleged sex-video extortion case against fellow international Mathieu Valbuena .
However, after his high-scoring seasons with Madrid , both coach Didier Deschamps and the president of the French Federation, Nöel Le Graet , have decided to include him in the Euro squad of 26.
Benzema, who has scxoed 29 goals in 81 appearances, was absent from the 2016 European Championship in which hosts France were runners-up as well as the triumphant 2018 a World Cup campaign.
His last game was a 4-0 win over Armenia on October 10, 2015, in which he scored twice. This season Benzema has scored 22 goals in Madrid’s LaLiga title pursuit of neighbours Atletico Madrid.
Valbuena said: “If he can contribute more to the French team, much better for Les Bleues. What matters is only what happens on the pitch. Simply that. It was the coach’s decision.
“For me, Didier Deschamps comes out the winner in all cases. If the French team work, we will say that they had to adapt despite a difficult context. If France underperforms, we will not blame it.
“That is what he knows how to do well, he knows how to make his lists. In attack, he has no guarantees, he made his decisions. I think he will be the winner anyway.”
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (OM), Mike Maignan (Lille);
Defenders: Benjamin Pavard (Bayern), Léo Dubois (OL), Raphaël Varane (Real), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Clément Lenglet (Barça), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern), Lucas Digne (Everton), Jules Koundé (Sevilla FC);
Midfielders: N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea), Paul Pogba (Man. United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Thomas Lemar (Atlético);
Forwards: Marcus Thuram (Mönchengladbach), Kingsley Coman (Bayern), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Antoine Griezmann (Barça), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Karim Benzema (Real), Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Ousmane Dembélé (Barça) .