Karim Benzema’s public feud with Didier Deschamps has carried on after the France manager said it was the striker’s decision to withdraw from the 2022 FIFA World Cup team.
The Real Madrid superstar arrived in Qatar as the reigning Ballon d’Or winner, but his participation in the tournament was in doubt owing to a series of muscular and hip problems.
Just before France’s World Cup opener, it was reported that Benzema would be forced to withdraw from the squad as he would be unable to regain fitness in time.
He was awarded a silver medal since he was not officially replaced in their 26-man squad, and he went on to retire from international football following France’s defeat in the final of the tournament on December 18 last year.
Benzema’s agent has recently criticised Deschamps’ decision to send the player home, maintaining that Benzema felt he could have stayed with the squad to participate in the later stages of in the tournament, when he returned to full fitness.
In a recent interview with Le Parisien, head coach Deschamps has stated otherwise, claiming that Benzema left the France setup on his own will.
Deschamps said: “Karim was hurt because this World Cup meant a lot to him…He said to me, ‘It’s over’.
“Our doctor’s diagnosis matched the one we gave him in Madrid. At best, his return to training could not intervene before December 10. When I left him, I told him: ‘Karim, there is no urgency. You organise your return with the team manager’.
“When I woke up, I learned that he was gone. It was his decision, he won’t tell you otherwise, I understand and respect it.”
Benzema, on the other hand, does not appear to have agreed with this narrative of what happened.
The Real Madrid star has now reacted to the comments made by France’s head coach through Instagram.
He put up an Instagram story sharing Deschamps’ comments, writing “what audacity” followed by a clown emoji, followed by another story with caption “Sacred Didier, goodnight” accompanied by a short reel of a man repeatedly uttering the word “liar.”