The two men traded blows while the Real Madrid star was exiled from the international fold, but he insists there is no lasting animosity
Karim Benzema says he is relaxed about reuniting with Olivier Giroud in the France national team despite his previous comments describing his compatriot as a “go-kart”.
Benzema was handed his first international call-up in six years last week as Didier Deschamps named the Real Madrid star in his final 26-man squad for Euro 2020.
Chelsea frontman Giroud played ahead of Benzema during his lengthy spell away from the international fold, but they will be forced to work together at this summer’s tournament after a well-documented public spat.
Benzema’s feud with Giroud
Benzema had previously suggested that Giroud’s abilities pale in comparison to his own while addressing his continued omission from Deschamps’ squad in a social media Q&A last year.
“You can’t confuse an F1 car with a go-kart and I’m being kind,” he said.
Giroud responded by reminding Benzema of his status as a World Cup winner, only for the Blancos striker to double down on his previous remarks by stating: “I simply said the truth”.
What’s been said after Benzema’s recall?
Despite the previous animosity between the pair, Benzema insists that they put their differences aside after coming face to face again during Chelsea’s win over Real in the Champions League semi-finals.
“Of course. Olivier, I saw him during the Chelsea match. We spoke, it was relaxed. He congratulated me for my goal,” Benzema told L’Equipe.
“It was good vibes, it was cool. I have already played with him, it will be the same as before.”
Benzema on Deschamps
Benzema was dropped from the France squad in 2015 after his alleged involvement in the infamous sex-tape scandal involving Mathieu Valbuena.
After losing his spot in the team, Benzema accused Deschamps of “yielding under the pressure of a racist part of France”, with the head coach subsequently refusing to consider the forward for selection again.
However, Deschamps performed a U-turn for Les Bleus’ latest European Championship campaign after a lengthy discussion with Benzema, who says they quickly buried the hatchet when speaking one on one.
“We saw each other. It was really a quiet moment,” he said. “It did us good to discuss, exchange and see that we had a lot to say to each other.
“I always got on well with him and after three minutes everything was back to normal.”
Benzema’s ambitions with France
Benzema already has 81 caps for France to his name along with 27 goals, but has yet to win a major piece of silverware with his country.
The 33-year-old is hoping to rectify that at the Euros, with it his belief that Les Bleus have enough strength in depth to go one better than their final appearance in 2016.
“I want to win a trophy with the France team,” Benzema added. “Anyone can say: ‘It’s a dream to win the Euro’.
“But the question is how to win it? And I answer that with the squad that we have, we can win it.”