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Official: Karim Benzema announces international retirement



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Taking to Instagram, Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema has seemingly announced his decision to retire from international football, following France’s FIFA World Cup 2022 final defeat to Argentina.

Benzema, widely recognised as one of the finest strikers of the modern era, made his debut for Les Bleus more than 15 years ago in March 2007. The 35-year-old went on to make as many as 97 appearances for Les Bleus, scoring 37 goals in the process.

However, his international career was not short on controversies either, as he was frozen out of the France setup for close to six years due to his involvement in the blackmail scandal involving Mathieu Valbuena.

As a result, he was not part of France’s FIFA World Cup triumph in 2018. Benzema did make a comeback to the national team setup in recent years and was part of the side that won the UEFA Nations League last year.

While he had been called up to the squad for the recently-concluded World Cup in Qatar, an injury just before the tournament forced him out. Didier Deschamps decided to send the striker home and did not contemplate a recall even though the Real Madrid icon recovered quickly enough.

Now he has announced his decision to step away from international football entirely.

“I made the effort and mistakes it took to be where I am today and I’m proud of it!
I wrote my story and ours ends,”
he wrote on his social media.

Recent reports had suggested that Benzema’s relationship with the national team setup had deteriorated completely. In light of those speculations his decision to announce his international retirement does not come as a surprise.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool monitoring 19-year-old Bundesliga wonderkid – Romano



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all monitoring Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wonderkid Florian Wirtz.

After recovering from his ACL injury, the teenage sensation has been slowly working his way back to his best form. So far this term, Wirtz has managed to rack up a tally of two goals and six assists from 13 matches in all competitions.

The 19-year-old’s talent and potential have never been in question and hence it does not come as a surprise that elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on the German international.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Wirtz is capable of playing anywhere in the final third of the pitch and backs up with top-notch end product. Be it as a false-nine or in a more withdrawn role, the youngster has excelled for Bayer Leverkusen, catching the attention of top teams.

Real Madrid, for their part, are also understood to be among Wirtz’s admirers. Given the situation surrounding Karim Benzema’s fitness and the lack of backup at the top, the youngster could be an option, as he has shown potential while operating through the middle.

But Barcelona also have a strong interest in the teenager with reports even suggesting that they have already made contact with his father to enquire about his situation.

At the same time, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to be a huge admirer of his fellow German and with Roberto Firmino on his way out, Wirtz could be lined up as a possible replacement.

However, Romano adds that the expectation is that Wirtz could stay at Bayer Leverkusen for one more year and depart Germany once the UEFA Euro 2024 is out of the way.

For now, there have been talks or negotiations with any clubs, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all tracking Wirtz and his progress in Germany.

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