France is preparing for their second straight World Cup Final on Sunday as they lock horns with Lionel Messi and Argentina. Before the tournament began, striker Karim Benzema, who just won the Ballon d’Or, was ruled out after suffering an injury setback in training. But, Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps never replaced him in the squad and the Real Madrid star is back on the pitch in Spain. That being said, rumors are swirling that Benzema could make a shock return for the grand finale in Lusail, per the Evening Standard.
It’s highly unlikely Benzema gets the chance to start, though. Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud have formed a fantastic partnership up top in Qatar, combining for nine goals and two assists. They’ve been lethal in the final third for the title-holders. Benzema hasn’t played a lot at all this term either, featuring just 11 times across all competitions. There were also doubts he’d be fit enough to play for his country in the World Cup and then after re-aggravating a lower-body injury, things looked grim.
When asked about the possibility of Karim Benzema flying to Qatar for Sunday’s fixture, Deschamps refused to say much and made it clear he “prefers not to answer” questions about the 34-year-old’s status.
“I don’t really want to answer that question.” He then smiled and said: “Next question.”
You’d have to believe it’s definitely on Deschamps’ mind. If France is stuck in a deadlock, there is no better player to bring on as a substitute for a potential winner than Benzema. We’ll see what happens come Sunday. Even with their current group though, Les Bleus are evidently more than capable of lifting the ultimate prize, Karim Benzema on the pitch or not.