The Real Madrid striker has not been selected in the Blues since 2015, and therefore missed the Euro in France and the coronation at the World Cup in Russia.

Autumn 2015. A few months before the Euro in France, Karim Benzema is sidelined from the France team because of the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape affair, before attacking Didier Deschamps for a few months later accusing him of having "yielded to a racist part of France".

What the coach has never forgiven him, and the Real Madrid center-forward has never been recalled in Blues since, watching the tricolors hang a second star on the jersey in Russia in 2018. An episode he has badly lived, as he said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

“In a career, there are always ups and downs, and this moment has been a very low point. But every human being faces challenges. Mine is important, but I am strong enough and psychologically ready for them. accept. I do not let go, "said the striker merengue.

"It's not true that nothing affects me. I have feelings, but I will never show my weaknesses, even if I do."

Evermore important in the squad of Real Madrid in recent seasons, Benzema also confided in the importance of Zinédine Zidane for him: "He is a big brother to me. Off the field, he is always there to advise me. "

A growing role among the reigning Spanish champions is partly explained by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer of 2018, without the Portuguese being really replaced.

"The only thing I can say is that Cristiano's departure gave me a different role," KB9 said. "He was scoring 50 or 60 goals a year when he was there, and you had to s' adapt to his game. He's one of the best players in the world and I was happy by his side. "

It is without the five-time Ballon d'Or that Real Madrid will try to completely relaunch the title race on the other side of the Pyrenees this Sunday, during the Madrid derby against Atlético, leader for many weeks. Zinédine Zidane's men are five points behind their neighbors and rivals - who are one game late - a gap that could therefore be reduced to its minimum portion.