Karim Benzema retires from international football: Decoding his stats
Veteran striker Karim Benzema has announced his retirement from international football. 2022 Ballon d'Or winner Benzema missed the recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Qatar after suffering an injury. He was part of the squad but the injury forced him to exit the tournament. Benzema has already recovered and returned to Real Madrid for full training. Here we decode Benzema's numbers for France.
Why does this story matter?
- Benzema, who turned 35 on December 19, couldn't get the desired opportunities for France, missing the 2010 World Cup and being suspended for the 2016 Euros and 2018 World Cup by the French Football Federation.
- Benzema was being investigated for his part in an alleged plot to blackmail then France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.
- In 2021, Benzema returned to the France squad after five years.
Benzema is the fifth-highest scorer for France
Benzema is currently the fifth-highest scorer for France in men's international football. His tally of 37 goals is only behind Olivier Giroud (53), Thierry Henry (51), Antoine Griezmann (42), and Michel Platini (41). Benzema made 97 appearances for France, since making his debut in 2007. His best year for France was in 2021 as he managed nine goals in 13 matches.
Benzema helped France win the Nations League 2020-21
France topped Group A3 in the 2020-21 edition of the UEFA Nations League and qualified for the Finals (last four). Benzema scored in the semi-final match versus Belgium in a 3-2 victory. In the final clash versus Spain, he scored once again, helping France win the trophy. Before that, Benzema scored four goals at the UEFA Euro 2020, winning the Bronze boot.
Breaking down Benzema's goals for France
Benzema scored 15 goals for France in international friendlies. He scored five foals in European Championships qualifying and another seven in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Benzema netted three goals at the FIFA World Cup 2014, four times at Euro 2020, besides three Nations League goals.