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France star refutes claims that players were happy to see Benzema miss the World Cup



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Karim Benzema’s ouster from the France squad through a supposed injury just before the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been well documented.

The controversy that ensued after French players were supposedly relieved to see Benzema out, coupled with a video showcasing French players cursing the Real Madrid forward, has also been widely covered in the media.

There has been a lot of blame game, with manager Didier Deschamps alleged to be the one responsible for Benzema being sent home.

Meanwhile, there were also reports that senior players such as Antoine Griezmann and Hugo Lloris also wanted the Real Madrid captain out.

However, in a recent interview, Olivier Giroud has squashed those claims, suggesting that the entire French team was sad to see him miss out on the World Cup.

“It’s really absurd when I hear that some of us were relieved to see Benzema out of the World Cup. We were sad and I told him personally. We lost a very good weapon, obviously we, like him, were sad,” he told L’Equipe.

It must be noted that Giroud was the main beneficiary following Benzema’s departure from the French squad, as it elevated the role of the former Arsenal striker. He ended up featuring in all but one match in the competition, even netting four goals.

Giroud’s comments came just after his side AC Milan’s triumph in the UEFA Champions League. The Rossoneri neat Napoli 2-1 on aggregate to secure a ticket to the semifinal for the first time in 17 years.

Interestingly, there is a possibility Giroud and Benzema could go head to head in the finals of the Champions League, provided Real Madrid beat Manchester City while Milan beat Inter in the semifinals.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid’s interest in €70 million-rated left-back is ‘serious’ – report



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Even though Fran Garcia will be arriving to bolster the left-back slot, MARCA (h/t Madrid Xtra) is reporting that Real Madrid’s interest in Bayern Munich defender Alphonso Davies is ‘serious’.

The left-back position emerged as a major issue for Real Madrid during the 2022/23 season as Ferland Mendy spent a large chunk of the campaign out injured. With David Alaba reluctant to reprise the role, manager Carlo Ancelotti had to turn to Nacho and Eduardo Camavinga as options.

Heading into the new season, Real Madrid wish to address this issue. The plan is to offload Ferland Mendy or even possibly use him as a makeweight in the Harry Kane operation.

And, Davies is being targeted to replace the Frenchman. The Canadian international, whose current market value is €70 million, has developed into one of the most reliable left-backs in Europe during his time at Bayern Munich.

Despite having had to deal with injuries, Davies finished the 2022/23 season with a return of three goals and eight assists from 38 matches across all competitions.

The possibility of the 22-year-old pairing up with Vinicius Jr on Real Madrid’s left flank does seem very appealing. And, that is why, Los Blancos are understood to be willing to pay what it takes to sign the Bayern Munich star.

However, the Bavarians have no interest in selling Davies at this moment. He still has two years left on his contract with the German champions which does give them an upper hand.

But if Davies decides not to hold talks over a renewal and pushes for an exit, it could open the door for a possible move from Real Madrid. Even then, Bayern Munich could hold for a steep asking price, but the Merengues could be willing to go the extra mile in their efforts to sign Davies.

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