Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been recalled to the France squad for the first time since 2015 after being named in Didier Deschamps’ selection for the upcoming UEFA European Championship.
Benzema was forced into international exile by Deschamps in 2015 after being implicated in a scandal involving Mathieu Valbuena, in which he will face trial on accusations of attempting to blackmail his former teammate with an alleged sex tape.
He has consistently denied the allegations made against him, but that was seemingly not enough to see him return to the 2018 World Cup winners, for whom he scored 27 goals in 81 appearances prior to being expelled.
However, there has been a change of heart within the national team camp that has resulted in Benzema being recalled for Deschamps’ 26-man squad for the 2020 UEFA European Championship, which is set to commence next month.
Benzema last appearance for France in a major was the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup.
France’s full Euro 2020 squad:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Mike Maignan (LOSC Lille) & Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Olympique Lyonnais), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) & Clement Lenglet (FC Barcelona)
Midfielders: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur) & Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (FC Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (FC Barcelona), Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach), Wissam Ben Yedder (AS Monaco), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid) & Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain