By Habeeb Kuranga
Real Madrid and France’s forward Karim Benzema has announced his retirement from international football.
The 34-year-old striker, who missed the just concluded FIFA world cup due to a thigh injury, has made the decision to quit International Football less than 24 hours after his nation, France, was defeated by Argentina in the final of the world cup.
“I made an effort and the mistakes it took to be where I am today, and I am proud of it! I have written my story, and ours is ending.” Benzema wrote on Instagram on Monday afternoon.
The striker, who passed on the opportunity to return to the squad after his comeback from injury, did send a message to his teammates ahead of their showpiece fixture against Argentina. ‘It’s time……. all together. Vamonos. Come on Les Bleus.’ He posted on his social media handle.
Benzema, who only returned back to the French squad in June 2021 after he was dismissed by the French Football Association for his involvement in blackmailing fellow France international Mathieu Valbuena in a mobile sex video scandal in 2015.
The Balon d’Or winner had 97 caps for Les Bleus, with 37 goals and 20 assists to his name. He also helped France win the UEFA Nations League in 2021 after a disappointing campaign in Euros 2020 when they were eliminated by Switzerland in the Round of 16.