THERE appeared to be no love lost between French strikers Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud.
Les Bleus won the World Cup in 2018 with then-Arsenal forward Giroud playing a key part, even if he didn’t net during the tournament.
But in a live chat on his Instagram, Benzema was less than complimentary about his fellow French striker.
Why didn’t Benzema play for France?
BENZEMA is in line for a sensational return to the international fold.
The Real ace has not played for France in five years after becoming involved in an alleged blackmail sextape plot involving teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
At Euro 2016, Giroud was targeted by booing French fans and spoke out after being jeered during the Championship on home soil.
Speaking to Le Parisien, he said: “I immediately realised that the people who booed me were not anti-Giroud, but pro-Benzema.
“It could not be otherwise. I came from a great season with Arsenal. It was just disappointing.
“Yes, it annoyed me. I was not even remotely responsible for this story and I did not understand the kind of hatred that developed against me.”
In November 2019, France Football Federation president Noel le Graet had seemingly ended any hopes of a recall for the French ace.
He said: “For me, Benzema is a very good player. I have never criticised his qualities.
“On the contrary, he is proving again this year at Madrid that he is one of the best players in his position.
“But the adventure with France is over.”
What did Benzema say about Giroud?
DURING his revealing online chat in early 2020, Benzema was asked how he rated fellow centre-forward Giroud.
He replied: “This won’t take long. You don’t confuse F1 with go-karting. And I’m being kind. Next… and I know I’m F1.
“It works because he’s there. That’s all. It’s not going to be spectacular, it’s not going to be anything crazy but in his way you see more of Griezmann or Mbappe because he will put the work in.
“Does everyone like that way of playing? I don’t know.”
Benzema doubled down on his scathing assessment later on March 30, 2020 stating he was ‘telling the truth’.
He continued: “About Giroud, I simply told the truth.
“But we didn’t remember what I said about him, especially about what he brings to the French national team.
“We just remembered the moment when I said I was F1 and he was karting. That’s what I think, that’s the truth, and that’s how it is.”
Who has the most goals for France?
IN Benzema’s stead, Giroud has emerged as Didier Deschamps’ go-to striker.
The Chelsea striker has earned 107 caps for the world champions, netting 44 times.
His last goal came in a 3-1 win over Sweden back in November.
Only Thierry Hnery (51) has more goals for France.
While Benzema has played 81 times for his country, the last of which came in 2015.
He has netted 27 goals for Les Bleus.