‘I don’t want to answer that, next question!’: Didier Deschamps sighs as he refuses to be drawn on whether Karim Benzema could feature in the World Cup final – with the forward STILL registered for France after returning to training from injury
France boss Didier Deschamps gave a cryptic response when asked if Karim Benzema could feature in the World Cup final – letting out a sigh before smirkin and quickly saying ‘next question’.
Les Bleus booked their place in the World Cup final against Argentina on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Morocco on Wednesday night – thanks to goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani – but there has been much speculation about whether Benzema might make a stunning comeback having missed the whole tournament through injury.
However, the Real Madrid star recently returned to training on Wednesday and he is incredibly still registered in France’s squad – so he could play a role in the final if he manages to recover in time for the huge game.
France boss Didier Deschamps gave a cryptic response when asked if Karim Benzema could feature in the World Cup final
The Ballon d’Or winner has missed the whole tournament through injury but recently returned to training with Real Madrid
France are desperate to have Benzema involved after picking up a thigh injury in their first training session for the tournament
And Deschamps kept his cards close to his chest when asked about Benzema by a journalist in his post-match press conference.
The reporter said: ‘There is a report today that Karim Benzema could come back to Qatar. First of all, is it true? And second of all, if it is, is there any possibility that you would be able to use him for a few minutes in the final if you needed him?’
Deschamps appeared to be irked by the question initially as he closed his eyes and puffed his cheeks, before saying ‘I don’t really want to answer that question,’ and letting out a smile as he quickly said: ‘Next question.’
Deschamps started smirking as he quickly said ‘next question’ when asked about Benzema
He then started grinning as he turned his head and said ‘I do apologise.’
The Frenchman was asked about Benzema again in the group stages and similarly batted the question away.
‘Wow. Well, I’m not sure [what to say], that’s really not something that I’m thinking about,’ he said at the time. ‘You seem to know a lot about the situation but I haven’t really been following who has been saying what.’
Benzema was ruled out of the World Cup after sustaining a thigh injury during France’s first full training session in Qatar.
There has been heavy speculation that Benzema could play a part in the final – despite not playing a single minute for the Blues in Qatar
However, the 34-year-old has since returned to training with Real Madrid at their Valdebebas training complex, according to Marca, stoking up excitement among fans that he could make a dramatic comeback and play a part in the final – despite not playing a single minute of the World Cup.
Benzema, who won the Ballon d’Or for the first time in his career this year, has reportedly fully recovered from the injury.
He had initially been expected to be ruled out of action for at least three weeks.
In his place, striker Olivier Giroud has excelled in Qatar having scored four times to inspire his side’s rise to the final on Sunday.
Benzema – who has scored 37 times in 97 caps for France
The veteran forward scored France’s winning goal in the 2-1 win over England in the quarter-finals although he couldn’t manage to get on the scoresheet in the 2-0 win over Morocco on Wednesday night.
Benzema, who has scored 37 times in 97 caps for France, hasn’t been the only injury blow France have had to contend with in Qatar – with midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante also being forced to sit out.
However, France have managed to rally despite their absentees, winning all but one of their games – which was a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia in the group stages.
On Sunday they will be bidding to win back-to-back World Cups as Lionel Messi and Argentina look to wrest the trophy from them.