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

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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 face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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