‘Everything happened so quickly…’: Retiring France captain Hugo Lloris reveals details of Karim Benzema’s abrupt World Cup exit – but SLAMS reports that he wanted the outcast OUT of their squad
France captain Hugo Lloris, who confirmed his retirement from international football on Monday, has shared details of Karim Benzema‘s abrupt World Cup exit in Qatar.
Benzema left Didier Deschamps’ World Cup squad and travelled home on the eve of the tournament because of a quadriceps injury, missing out on France’s journey to the final.
Lloris, 36, admitted that ‘everything happened so quickly’ following Benzema’s exit, but has rubbished the idea that it caused friction in the French dressing room.
France star Hugo Lloris has revealed details of Karim Benzema’s abrupt World Cup exit in Qatar
The captain announced his retirement from international football at the age of 36 on Monday
In the wake of his international retirement, the Spurs keeper told French newspaper L’Equipe: ‘For Karim, we were all a little surprised. What we players experienced with his departure is this: you train in the evening, he gets injured, you go to bed, and the next day when you get up you are told that Karim is gone.
‘Everything happened so quickly… It was presented as a medical package, and we players discovered it in the morning, at a time when something was happening almost every day.
‘But there are a lot of things that have been said, which are either false or ridiculous: the atmosphere was very good before he left, and very good after, and it was very normally amplified thanks to our background and euphoria.
Benzema left Didier Deschamps’ squad on the eve of the tournament with a quadriceps injury
‘But we would all have wanted the Ballon d’Or winner, when we see what he has brought since his return, with us.’
His agent questioned why Benzema was sent home by Deschamps – as scans showed he would recover by the quarter-final stage
Although Benzema recovered in time for the World Cup final last month, Deschamps kept the striker at home and Les Bleus subsequently lost to Argentina 4-2 on penalties, as all-time great Lionel Messi finally got his hands on the elusive trophy.
The 35-year-old’s agent took to Twitter on Boxing Day to question why Deschamps had sent Benzema home in the first place, with three specialists confirming the forward would be fit from the quarter-final stage.
Despite Deschamps’ reported bust-up with the French forward, Lloris continued to slam reports that his side wanted the Real Madrid superstar, who has since retired from international duty, out of their squad.
He added: ‘To say that we would have pushed for him to leave is completely false, and I don’t see where we’re coming from: he was essential for eighteen months, he helped us win the League of Nations, his return will have been only positive.
The keeper, who won a record 145 caps, suffered World Cup final heartbreak against Argentina
‘It’s really dishonest to claim that some of us could have favoured his departure. We would have done it when, how? When you approach a World Cup, you want to do it with your best players.’
When asked whether the fall-out of the World Cup influenced his international retirement, Lloris replied: ‘No. The controversies, we are used to them, it is unfortunately part of our context, today, in the blue jersey.
‘A captain is always exposed, you are asked for your opinion, but you have to stay in your role in relation to the group, make sure not to unbalance it.’